metal + hardcore
pop punk + alt-rock
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Ozzfest San Antonio, 2006: The Tour That Defined Me

Ozzfest poster // Top: Atreyu // Bottom: Bleeding Through (photos: Chad Davis via WikiMedia Commons)

It was my first show after graduating high school—my live music experience at that point consisted of worship bands at my small-town church or dad rock cover bands at the county fair. Some of my buddies and I set out on the six-and-half-hour road trip from Louisiana to San Antonio, TX to see Ozzfest. It was a great line-up of mid-00s metal chart-toppers: System of a Down, Disturbed, Hatebreed, Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold, and many more.

There aren’t many places hotter than Texas in July so, with no cloud in sight, we were ready to get our faces melted—whether by unrelenting UV radiation or sweet, sweet devil music. Bleeding Through was the first band on the docket and set the bar high for the day with “Love Lost in a Hail of Gunfire.” The Boondock Saints snippet-intro to the song washed over a hushed crowd pulsing with anticipation of the blast drums. Like an audible unlocking of berserker rage,  pure bedlam erupted when the stick struck the tom. Clearly, it was a moment that will never be forgotten.

Following such a furious maelstrom must have been daunting for the next band. I failed to see it affect them, though, as Walls of Jericho drove the walls of speakers to their limits. Candace Puopolo and the boys brought such energy and emotion that they created an instant fan. WoJ was my first experience of stan-ing a band after seeing them live. 

“There aren’t many places hotter than Texas in July so, with no cloud in sight, we were ready to get our faces melted—whether by unrelenting UV radiation or sweet, sweet devil music.”

After the first couple mosh pits, we were drenched in sweat and spit and in need of hydration. Unsurprisingly, Monster Energy drinks sponsored the second stage and had a tractor-trailer converted into a mini-bar area handing out (surprisingly) FREE pounders of new and original flavors. After a little indulgence, we separated to see different bands with the plan to meet up in the evening to go to the Main Stage mosh pit together. 

Well, the time to meet up rolls around and my buddy “Mike” is nowhere to be found. We search through the crowd for him, eventually ending up looking in the bathrooms to find him passed out in a stall. Come to find out “Mike” had nixed H2O completely on that brutal afternoon. He instead remedied his parched throat with six full 16-oz cans of various colors of Monster Energy drinks—a veritable Pride Flag of Dirtbike Dehydraters. 

After sponging him off with brown paper towels, soaked in sink water, we all chugged a couple of water bottles and immediately went back in the pit. This is where I discovered “Mike” had earned the nickname “DBZ” with some mosh veterans. Apparently, he would go hard in the pit and just crash in the middle out of exhaustion. The gentlepeople of the pit would then go to help him up. But just before they would get to him, he would jump straight up and scream towards the sky, his body tensed in imitation of Goku in mid-transformation into Super Saiyan. 

Perhaps there is more in Monster Energy than they are telling us.

–Briton Alexander

The Tour That Defined Me:
Ozzfest San Antonio, 2006


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