Ozzy ain’t bitin’ the heads off no spring chickens theses days. With the singer and noted Prince of Darkness a spry 62 years old, one must wonder how he feels about continuing to write, record and perform heavy metal music on the road to social security. Now entering his fifth decade in the genre he pioneered, Osbourne is still metal’s most distinctive vocal stylist, as well as rock ’n’ roll’s most endearing pisser in the face of fate this side of Keith Richards. And not even four seasons capturing the invariably bewildered baby-stepper ambling out of sorts around his Beverly Hills mansion in a bathrobe on The Osbournes — the first in a now never-ending parade of celebrity-centric reality shows — could strip the singer of his dark crown. But while Ozzy continues to fly the flag of metal on 2010’s Scream, recent set lists suggest that the record’s title track is the only current cut you’re likely to hear on the singer’s Scream World Tour, which boasts an all-killer-no-filler hit parade of Randy Rhoads-era and Black Sabbath staples, in attention to his long-loved frog-stomps, arrhythmic clapping, audience dousing and pleas to “Go fucking CRAY-ZAYYYY!!!” While this tour is Ozzy’s first solo outing without longtime lead guitarist and onstage foil Zakk Wylde in more than 20 years, needer-of-no-introduction Slash will be on hand to satisfy shred-heads and continue building Brand Slash with a top- (hat) heavy (hopefully Fergie-free) opening set of scorching licks and selections from his recent self-titled solo effort.
Ozzy needs to get Jake E. Lee back in the band: