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OzzFest Japan 2015

23 Nov

Yesterday, my wife, our daughters and I went to OzzFest Japan 2015!
It was great!

OzzFest Japan 2015

Two years ago I went to OzzFest Japan 2013 with my friend.

2015-11-22 10.33.06

Sign outside the Makuhari Messe venue for OzzFestJapan 2015.

It was a long day. We were there for twelve hours!
Here’s the line-up of bands we saw:

OzzFest Japan 2015, day-2, morning line-up

OzzFest Japan 2015, day-2, morning line-up

OzzFest Japan 2015, day-2, afternoon line-up

OzzFest Japan 2015, day-2, evening line-up

I bought an Ozzy Osbourne T-shirt and sweatshirt:

The Ozzy T-shirt I bought.

The Ozzy T-shirt I bought.

The Ozzy sweatshirt I bought.

The Ozzy sweatshirt I bought.

All of the bands were very entertaining! But the bands that we were really looking forward to seeing were on from 2:50PM til the end.

At 2:50 were the Japanese band “9mm Parabellum Bullet” (called “kyuu-milli” for short).

9mm Parabellum Bullet took the stage.

“9mm Parabellum Bullet” took the stage.

My second daughter has been a big fan of this band for years. She’s seen them in concert a number of times. This was the first time that I’ve seen them on stage…though, I’m familiar with their songs since my daughter is a fan.

"9mm Parabellum Bullet" (© )

“9mm Parabellum Bullet” (© )

"9mm Parabellum Bullet" (© )

“9mm Parabellum Bullet” (© )

"9mm Parabellum Bullet" (© )

“9mm Parabellum Bullet” (© )

"9mm Parabellum Bullet" (© )

“9mm Parabellum Bullet” (© )

After that was Black Label Society! I’m a fan of this band! After they played, my daughters said that Zakk Wylde is “cool”.

"Black Label Society"

“Black Label Society”

"Black Label Society"

“Black Label Society”

"Black Label Society" (© )

“Black Label Society” (© )

"Black Label Society" (© )

“Black Label Society” (© )

"Black Label Society" (© )

“Black Label Society” (© )

"Black Label Society" (© )

“Black Label Society” (© )

And then the Japanese “horror rock” band 人間椅子 (Ningen-Isu) played. I saw this band before at OzzFest Japan 2013. They were inspired by the Japanese horror writer Edogawa Ranpo (who took his pen-name from his inspiration: horror author Edgar Allen Poe):



「人間椅子」 (© )

「人間椅子」 (© )

「人間椅子」 (© )

「人間椅子」 (© )

「人間椅子」 (© )

「人間椅子」 (© )

And then the loud, energetic band Hatebreed took the stage!

"Hatebreed" (© )

“Hatebreed” (© )

"Hatebreed" (© ) The guitarist wore a KISS T-shirt!

“Hatebreed” (© )
The guitarist wore a KISS T-shirt!

Next was Baby Metal. Do you know about the Japanese band Baby Metal? They combine heavy-metal with J-pop. (Click here to read my post about them.)
I don’t really care for their music…but they have many dedicated fans! In fact, Baby Metal were the only act at OzzFestJapan to have a rule limiting the number of their T-shirts that fans could buy, and they were still the only act to have their merchandise completely be sold-out!

"Baby Metal"

“Baby Metal”

"Baby Metal"

“Baby Metal”

“Baby Metal” (© )

At 6:50PM, Jane’s Addiction took the stage. This is another band that has many fans but I don’t really care for.
I had heard that Yoshiki would be performing a song with them…and sure enough, before one their songs, the singer announced their “friend Yoo-shee-kee” (a very non-Japanese pronunciation of the Japanese name よしき).

“Jane’s Addiction” with Yoshiki of “X-Japan” on piano. (© )

And then…it was time for Ozzy Osbourne & friends!

"Ozzy Osbourne & friends"!!

“Ozzy Osbourne & friends”!!

"Ozzy Osbourne & friends"!!

“Ozzy Osbourne & friends”!!

In addition to his current band members, Gus G., Rob Nicholson and Tommy Clufetos (who is a very cool drummer!)…Geezer Butler (“Black Sabbath”) played bass on all Black Sabbath songs that Ozzy played, and at times the guitar position altered between Zakk Wylde (“Black Label Society”), Dave Navarro (“Jane’s Addiction”) and Tom Morello (“Rage Against The Machine”).

For the final encore, the Black Sabbath song “Paranoid” was played and all members (Ozzy Osbourne, Gus G., Rob Nicholson, Tommy Clufetos, Geezer Butler, Zakk Wylde, Dave Navarro and Tom Morello all took the stage together…and then, as Ozzy promised, the popular Japanese mascot character “Funassyi” (who represents Funabashi, Chiba, Japan) was invited onstage to get hosed down by Ozzy Osbourne. (Throughout his show, Ozzy sprayed the front row of the audience with a foam hose, as he often does at his concerts).

"Let the madness begin!!"

“Let the madness begin!!”

Ozzy Osbourne and Gus G. (© )

Ozzy Osbourne and Gus G. (© )

Ozzy Osbourne!

Ozzy Osbourne (© )

Ozzy Osbourne (© )

The legendary Ozzy Osbourne!

The legendary Ozzy Osbourne!

Tom Morello turned his guitar around to reveal this message.(© )

Tom Morello turned his guitar around to reveal this message.(© )

Zakk Wylde on stage with Ozzy again.

Zakk Wylde on stage with Ozzy again.

Ozzy spraying Funnasyi

Ozzy spraying Funnasyi

Funnasyi being hosed down by Ozzy.

Funnasyi being hosed down by Ozzy.

Funnasyi is a fan of Ozzy Osbourne

Funnasyi is a fan of Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy on stage with Gus, Tommy, Rob, Adam, Geezer, Zakk, Dave, Tom...and Funnasyi!

Ozzy on stage with Gus, Tommy, Rob, Adam, Geezer, Zakk, Dave, Tom…and Funnasyi!

Ozzy & friends

Ozzy & friends

Ozzy & friends

Ozzy & friends

Ozzy & friends…final bow! Thank you for an excellent show!

(All photos in this post were taken by my wife, my daughters and myself…except for the 19 that are from the official OzzFestJapan website (and labeled as such)).

The setlist that Ozzy Osbourne & friends played:

  1. I Don’t Know
  2. Mr. Crowley (with Tom Morello)
  3. Bark at the Moon (with Tom Morello)
  4. Suicide Solution
  5. Flying High Again
  6. Shot in the Dark
  7. Guitar solo / Bass solo / Drum solo
  8. Iron Man (with Tom Morello and Geezer Butler)
  9. N.I.B. (with Tom Morello and Geezer Butler)
  10. Snowblind (with Geezer Butler)
  11. Behind the Wall of Sleep (with Geezer Butler)
  12. War Pigs (with Geezer Butler and Dave Navarro)
  13. Fairies Wear Boots (with Geezer Butler and Dave Navarro)
  14. I Don’t Want to Change the World (with Zakk Wylde)
  15. Crazy Train (with Zakk Wylde)
  16. Mama, I’m Coming Home (with Zakk Wylde)
  17. Paranoid (with Geezer Butler, Tom Morello, Dave Navarro, Zakk Wylde and Funassyi)

Metal Festivals in Tokyo

26 May

Every October for the past ten years, there is a two-day heavy metal music festival in the Tokyo area called “Loudpark“.

This year it is scheduled for 2015 October 10th (Sat) and October 11th (Sun).

Loudpark heavy metal festival; 2015 Oct 10-11

Loudpark heavy metal festival; 2015 Oct 10-11.

Some of the major bands that are billed to play are: Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. Three of the “Big Four“!

And then the following month, there will be another big heavy metal festival in the Tokyo area!
OzzFest Japan is scheduled for 2015 November 21st (Sat) and November 22nd!

OzzFest Japan 2015 will be held on 2015 Nov 21st - 22nd.

OzzFest Japan 2015 will be held on 2015 Nov 21st – 22nd.

Unlike Loudpark, OzzFest doesn’t have a long history in Japan. This will only be the second OzzFest in this country so far.

The first OzzFest Japan ever was held in May of 2013. I went to it with a friend of mine.
(Click here to read my post about it.)

I saw Black Sabbath, among other bands, at OzzFest Japan 2013…and they were initially billed to headline OzzFest Japan 2015, but it’s been changed for whatever reason…Ozzy will still be playing with his solo band instead.

The main acts of OzzFest Japan 2015 will be: Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society, KoRn Bullet For My Valentine, and Evanscence.

OzzFest Japan

13 May

Yesterday (2013 May 12), my friend and I went to OzzFest Japan.


It was great!

We went the second day of the two-day heavy metal festival. There were bands on the first day that I would’ve like to see…namely Slipknot, but I mostly wanted to see Black Sabbath.


Here’s the line-up of bands that I saw:


Black Sabbath played:
War Pigs“, “Into the Void“, “Under the Sun“, “Snowblind“, “Black Sabbath“, “Behind the Wall of Sleep“, “N.I.B.“, “Fairies Wear Boots“, “Symptom of the Universe“, “Iron Man“, “God Is Dead“, “Children of the Grave
and the encore was “Paranoid“.

Here’s a photo that I took of Ozzy Osbourne:

(A bit blurry…)



3 Nov

First of all, today is November 3rd…the Japanese holiday 「文化の日」(“Culture Day”).
If you went to the 浅草 (Asakusa) area of Tokyo today, you would have seen the interesting 「東京時代祭り」(“Tokyo-Era Festival”).

I’ve been to that festival a couple of times before. Click here to see the photos and videos I took of it in 2008.

Anyways, I found out yesterday that the godfathers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath will come to Japan in May 2013!

Ozzy Osbourne will bring his metal festival “OzzFest” to Japan for the first time!

Click here to visit the official OzzFest Japan website.

On Saturday, May 11th 2013, Slipknot will headline.
On Sunday, May 12th 2013, Black Sabbath will headline.

The venue will be the Makuhari Messe not far from Tokyo.

Let me introduce you to…

13 Nov

I have written a number of posts about interesting people. Most of whose stories are related to Japan in some way.
Maybe you haven’t seen many of them…so I decided to put links to all of them on a new page that I titled “Who’s Who?“.

Please check them out and leave comments to let me know what you think.

The new page is here.

An impossible decision

24 Oct

Tracy Latimer died eighteen years ago today.

Do you know who she was?

The heavy metal musician Ozzy Osbourne has written a number of songs about real life people…such as Aleister Crowley, Charles Manson, and Jimmy Swaggart.

So, when I heard the song “Latimer’s Mercy” on his latest album “Scream” I suspected it was about someone named Latimer.

So I checked the internet. Sure enough, it’s a song about the case of the mercy killing of twelve-year-old Tracy Latimer by her father Robert.

Have you ever heard of Robert Latimer?
After I read about this case, the lyrics to the song suddenly made sense.

It’s a sad story. No parents should ever have to even contemplate such a decision.

Although, I can understand Robert Latimer’s motives to end his daughter’s suffering, I can’t say whether it was the “right thing to do” or not.
I could never make such a decision, though.

Tracy Latimer was born in Canada in November 1980 with Cerebral Palsy, which meant she would never be able to walk or talk or even feed herself. It also caused her to have severe muscle seizures for which she needed medication.
In addition, she often dislocated her hip which caused intense pain but she couldn’t take pain killers because of her anti-seizure medication.

In her short life, Tracy had already undergone many major surgeries and doctors had told her parents that she would need more surgeries.

While the rest of his family was at church on Sunday, 1993 October 24, one month before Tracy’s thirteenth birthday, Robert Latimer put his daughter into the cab of his truck and ran a hose from the exhaust.
Tracy Latimer died of carbon monoxide poisoning and her father went to prison for her murder.
But many people in Canada supported his decision to end his daughter’s pain and believed Robert Latimer shouldn’t have been convicted.
Robert Latimer was released on parole last year.

Here are the lyrics to “Latimer’s Mercy” by Ozzy Osbourne:

Another day, another full seizure,
Another pill, you spiral down deeper,
Another cut by a surgical butcher,
It’s just a way of prolonging the torture

*I won’t say I don’t know what I’m doing,
I won’t say that I’m sorry (I’m sorry)

I can’t bring you back,
I can’t leave you helpless (helpless),
I’ll make the pain rest in peace (rest in peace)

I’ll turn off the lights,
Swallow your last breath (last breath),
So close your eyes, fall asleep (close your eyes)

I’ll never hurt you (hurt you),
I’ll never hurt you (hurt you)

The sun shines on this deadly new morning,
The church bells ring an early warning,
Your eyes shine as I turn on the motor,
The tears fall as the mercy gets closer

(repeat *)

You can listen to it here:

Tracy Latimer, 1980 November 23 – 1993 October 24, RIP

Animetal USA

9 Oct

Have you ever heard of the Japanese heavy metal band “Animetal“?

The Japanese band "Animetal".

They were an extra band made just for fun by members of other established Japanese metal bands. Animetal played heavy metal versions of Japanese anime theme songs.

The artwork of the cover of Animetal's first album (released in the mid-90's).

Animetal disbanded about five years ago…but this year, Marty Friedman (who was the lead guitarist of the American heavy metal band Megadeth but quit that famous band so that he could live in Tokyo with his Japanese wife) helped organize the formation of “Animetal USA“.

"Animetal USA"

Animetal USA consists of Mike Vescera (formally the lead vocalist of the Japanese band “Loudness” for a short time), Chris Impellitteri (of the band “Impellitteri”), Rudy Sarzo (from “Quiet Riot”) and Scott Travis (of “Judas Priest”).

Just like the original “Animetal”, this band sings heavy metal versions of Japanese anime theme songs…but, unlike the Japanese band, only some of their songs are in Japanese—the rest are in English.

They will be releasing their debut album on 2011 October 12 and on October 15, they will perform at this year’s Loudpark Heavy Metal Festival in Saitama, Japan.

The cover artwork for Animetal USA's debut album...due for release on 2011/10/12.

Here is the official video for “Animetal USA“‘s first single…the theme song of the anime 「宇宙戦艦ヤマト」 (“Space Battleship Yamato“):

I like monsters

25 Aug

KISS has announced that they will release an album of all new songs sometime next year (2012) titled “Monster“.

KISS...still the hottest band in the world!

Ever since I was a kid I’ve always liked monsters.

When I watched the Disney cartoon “Peter Pan” as a child, for example, I didn’t care for Peter Pan or any of his friends. They were too “regular”.
Unlike Peter Pan with his pansy outfit and little knife, Captain Hook had a sword and a sharp hook instead of a hand.
(Admittedly though, Peter Pan could fly, which would be fun and Hook didn’t dress much better than Peter Pan.)
Captain Hook was the first movie character that frightened me…and even at that young age I enjoyed being frightened a bit.

Who cares about a practical prosthetic when you can have one that puts the fear of god in people?!

When I was a bit older, I saw Star Wars for the first time.  I was only seven years old when the first movie in the series was released, so I was a bit too young to fully understand the story.  But I still  enjoyed it a lot.  Especially when “Darth Vader” made his entrance!
Luke Skywalker was the hero…but Darth Vader stole every scene in was in.

The "Dark Side"

And of course I’ve always like the “traditional” monsters…Frankenstein’s Monster, The Werewolf, and Dracula.

And when I came to Japan, I learned about 妖怪 (Japanese monsters).

"Ge-ge-ge Kitaro" is Japanese cartoon inspired by traditional Japanese monster and ghost stories.

Even my favorite superhero character has always been “The Incredible Hulk“. He’s anger-incarnate. A huge pissed-off monster! The coolest of the superheroes.

Hulk will smash even Superman

Even the music I listen to reflects my interest in monsters.
I like heavy metal music. There’s a reason that the soundtracks to many horror movies are full of heavy metal music…heavy metal is to music as horror is to movies.

If you’re not interested in heavy metal, you may not know that that genre of music is further divided into sub-genres.
The sub-genre of metal music that I like the most is “Shock Rock“. It’s just as visual as it is musical. Shock Rock artist—such as KISS, W.A.S.P., Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and Lordi—often look like monsters.

Alice Cooper

Anyways, as I mentioned at the top of this post, KISS will be releasing a new album soon.  The last time they they released a new album was about two years ago…it was titled “Sonic Boom“.

As I mentioned, KISS‘s new album will be titled “Monster“.  It’s an excellent album title…I can’t believe they haven’t used it before!

So far only five song titles have been confirmed by the band.  They are: “Hell Or Hallelujah”, “Born To Be A Sinner”, “Out Of This World”, “Are You Ready?”, and “Wall Of Sound”.

I’m looking forward to getting this album.

Famous fathers in pop culture

19 Jun

Today is 「父の日」 (Fathers Day).

My wife and daughters made a delicious Mexican dinner and gave me some new clothes for a Fathers Day present.
Wonderful gifts!

For my Fathers Day blog post, I thought I’d mention the first five famous fathers in pop culture that I thought of, whether they are fictional or “real”.

So, here’s my list (in no particular order):

Homer Simpson

The cartoon father figure of the American TV series “The Simpsons” is a selfish, clumsy, overweight, accident-prone father of three.
He works in a nuclear power plant but treats his responsibilities with the same importance as he does with everything else in his life…not much.

Despite all of his flaws, his family always supports him.

Archie Bunker

If you lived in America during the ’70s, then you surely know who Archie Bunker is.
He was the father figure on the popular (during the ’70s) American TV sit-com series.

On the surface, he seemed obnoxious, impatient and un-accepting of anyone different from himself. But, as much as he tried to hide it, he actually had a good heart and would stand up and help others.

Ozzy Osbourne

This is the only person on my list who isn’t a fictional character…but in many ways Ozzy Osbourne’s life has been “stranger than fiction”.

He was the original lead vocalist of the English heavy metal band “Black Sabbath” but had even more success as a solo artist after he was fired from the band he helped form.
He was infamous during the early years of his solo career for such antics as biting the heads off of a dove and a bat (on two separate occasions) and urinating on “The Alamo”, a landmark in the U.S. state of Texas (which got him banned from that state for over a decade).

In the early 2000’s, he (and most of his family) became more famous for their reality show on MTV titled “The Osbournes” about their unconventional family life.


The Japanese cartoon 「天才バカボン」 (“Tensai-Bakabon“) is actually named after the son, who is a foolish boy…but his father, simply called “Bakabon’s papa” is even dumber than his son and has become the most famous character in the Japanese comic book and TV cartoon series.

Darth Vader

The scene where Darth Vader revealed that he was Luke Skywalker's father.

Darth Vader has always been my favorite Star Wars character. He made a big impression when I was seven years old and saw him for the first time.
It was also quite a shock when I was ten and Darth Vader said “Luke, I am your father!”.

What famous pop culture fathers can you think of?

(And, to my own father…Happy fathers day.)

What would John Lennon think today’s world?

9 Oct

The late, great rock ‘n roll pioneer and peace activist John Lennon was born on 1940 October 9.
If he were still alive, he’d be seventy years old today.

Yoko Ono and the late John Lennon protesting the Vietnam War.

John Lennon was murdered by a lunatic “fan” almost exactly eight weeks after his 40th birthday.
(I wrote this post about that).

A number of rock musicians have a Japanese wife…including Marty Friedman and Paul Gilbert. But John Lennon’s widow is probably the most famous Japanese spouse of a western celebrity.

I’ve been a fan of The Beatles since I was a child…but John Lennon is my favorite member.
But I’m mostly a fan of heavy metal music and many of my favorite artists, including KISS, Ozzy Osbourne and Marilyn Manson, are fans of The Beatles.

The way KISS has four members who share lead vocal duties (but mainly rely on two “main members”) is just like The Beatles.
Ozzy Osbourne often wears sunglasses that are similar to the glasses that John Lennon wore.

Motley Crue did a remake of The Beatles’ song “Helter Skelter“, Aerosmith redid “Come Together“, as so many other bands have done remakes of Beatles’ songs.

Here’s a video of Ozzy Osbourne doing a remake of John Lennon’s song “Working Class Hero“, followed by a video of Marilyn Manson singing the same song:

In honor of John Lennon’s 70th birthday today, there is a YouTube channel of birthday wishes to the late artist. There are videos by Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, Jeff Bridges and many others.
The YouTube channel is here.

Here’s the birthday wish from Aerosmith:

I wonder, if John Lennon were alive today, what he would think of the world today.