Main Stage: Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, Godsmack, Static-X, Incubus, Methods of Mayhem, P.O.D., Queens of the Stone Age
Second Stage: Soulfly, Kittie, Disturbed, Taproot, Reveille, Primer 55, Black Label Society
So here I am again returning to the Gorge with my honey Lucinda for some good old rock/metal. Friends Mark and Claude joined us. Taproot was the first band up that we were interested in seeing. They seemed pretty polished to be playing on the second stage. Disturbed played next. There was a buzz around them and they did not disappoint. They had just released The Sickness in March and played the finer moments of the album in their set. I remember wanting to watch Soulfly but the distance between the second and main stages at the Gorge is sometimes too great for the time allowed between bands. I didn’t want to miss whoever was up next on the main stage. Speaking of the main stage, Queens of the Stone Age should have been there but for some reason our show was the first they were not at (they took a break from Ozzfest August 24th-30th). Methods of Mayhem were the first band there that we watched on the main stage instead. Tommy Lee did a great job as a frontman/guitarist for being known as a drummer. He had a funny narrative about crawling back home after a night of heavy drinking. Incubus was next and this was the first time I had got to see them perform songs from Make Yourself. After seeing them open for 311 I forgot about them until I heard an acoustic version of “Pardon Me” that blew my mind. They definitely impressed the crowd. Static-X followed with almost the same setlist as the year before but had pumped up their stage show a little. Wayne’s hair may have grew a little longer too, which for those who are unfamiliar with it is about two feet of hair sticking straight toward the sky. Godsmack was after Static-X. Their debut album slowly grew on me after hearing Lucinda play it a number of times to the point of me actually looking forward to seeing them. They rocked their ass off and even played the then unreleased song “Awake.” As the theme of the summer seemed to be, I was once again really at this show to see one band: the almighty Pantera. I was turned onto them by Claude right after Vulgar Display of Power came out and have been a fan ever since. I was lucky enough to be able to buy Far Beyond Driven and The Great Southern Trendkill the day the albums came out. For this show they were on tour for the album Reinventing the Steel that had just been released a few months prior. I remember the crowd going crazier than I have ever seen a crowd go. They were fucking going off. I remember trying to protect Lucinda from the debauchery since she was so small and we were in the floor section. Dimebag was a showboater but with his level of talent had every reason to be. We stayed around to watch Ozzy but weren’t really that stoked to be there. Pantera kicked our ass and I’ve never really been a fan of Ozzy’s solo efforts because I have Black Sabbath to compare to. Don’t get me wrong, he was nuts but unfortunately he had the displeasure of playing after Pantera and competing against my previous year’s experience of watching Black Sabbath. If you are fan of Pantera then unfortunately you know how the rest of their story unfolded, which is why I never got to see them again.