A week ago was the hottest day of the year and I was at Ozzfest. Even though I lathered SPF 45 sunblock on my face, I still came home with my face looking like a Macintosh Apple. At one point, I was walking past the concession stands and I felt something large fall on my toe. Thinking nothing of it, I continued for scant seconds when I realized it was the head of a kid who had passed out.
As for the concert itself, the second stage was pretty good, what I saw of it. It was too damn hot and there were too many shirtless guys for me to want to get closer. Killswitch Engage was pretty good, but the headliner of the 2nd stage, Rob Zombie was flat out awesome, the guy is a great performer.
On the main stage, Black Label Society was awesome, and Shadows Fall was phenominal. After being in the hot, oppressive sun for over 8 hours, I was just about done and tired as hell. Then Iron Maiden hit the stage and I was rejuvinated. This was the 3rd time I've seen them and they were just as great as each previous concert. The most recent song they played was The Trooper. I love their older stuff, but I still would have liked to have heard something from Seventh Son or maybe Fear of the Dark. Lastly, of course, Black Sabbath hit the stage. Ozzy looked alot more spry than I thought he would, but by the end of their set, his voice was going and he was beginning to look more and more like Emperor Palpatine. They of course played Iron Man, and War Pigs. I was really happy to hear Fairies Wear Boots and Sympton of the Universe, but the best was the song Black Sabbath.
Overall, it was a good, if very long day. I don't know that I'd do the whole day of Ozzfest again, unless Godsmack is one of the top bands.
An ARC of Robin Hobb's Shaman's Crossing arrived yesterday, one of the books I've been most looking forward to this year. I rank her Farseer/Liveship/Tawny Man saga in my upper echelon of fantasy sequences, so I'm really interested to see what she does in a completely new world. I'll be getting to it ina day or two, since I'm almost done with The Blackgod, the second part of Greg Keyes' Chosen of the Changeling duology. I've liked the story thus far, Greg plays with a bunch of different myths in the story and the world he's created is rich, interesting and peopled with fairly believable characters. Actually, I think where he's grown the most since the Changeling books is in his characterizations. I don't think these two books are on the same level as his unique Age of Unreason saga, or his superb Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, but they are still quite enjoyable.
On to Greg Keyes' Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone Saga - the next volume, The Blood Knight, is publishing April 2006. Not quite 2 years since The Charnel Prince, though about the same amount of tie between The Briar King and The Charnel Prince. I was hoping to see the book this October, but I'd rather Greg take the time than rush. Stephen Youll recently posted the cover art on his Web site.
In comics, I've been following Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers mega-saga (with the exception of Klarion). The art on The Shining Knight is handled by Simone Bianchi and is really beautiful and visually stunning, he plays with darkness and shadows really well. There's something about this story that reminds me a bit of Moorcocks Hawkmoon.
I've mentioned before how much I'm enjoying Busiek's take on Conan. The most recent issue featured a small back-up drawn by Bruce Timm (co-architect of DC Comics' animated universe). I have to say this - get Bruce Timm on a Conan animated series NOW. I wasn't sure how I'd like an animated style/interpretation of Conan, but I really shouldn't be suprised that Timm did a great job with it.