Rebecca Dana of the Washington Post reports that "to be a second-stage act, which is to say not a headliner, at Ozzfest 2003 — the darkest, loudest and most heavily metallic touring show on Earth — is unequivocally lovely on a sunny summer day. It is to be 27 years old with a spike in your lower lip, pounding rhythm guitar while your lead singer and best friend from high school wails the virtually unintelligible words to your most popular song — 'Pure Hatred', for example, if you are Matt Devries from CHIMAIRA — to a thousand teenagers moshing.
"It is to dance in a sea of empty beer bottles, in a fenced-in section of a parking lot filled with Ford F-150s, where the high school groupies are. It is to sit on a lawn chair, soaking up the last rays of August sunshine a few hundred yards away from the main stage and a few dozen security guards away from your childhood hero, Ozzy Osbourne himself.
"But to be a heavy-metal rocker playing second stage this past Friday night (August 22), in the middle of an electrical storm, is considerably less romantic than [heavy metal fans Bubba] Dixon and [Kenny and Mary Joe Smeal] imagine. It is, quite literally, to be a lightning rod.
"Consider Wyl Price, 21, and his 11 visible piercings: three lip, two nose (one nostril, one bridge), two eyebrow, four ear, plus three in places he'd rather not mention — all of them done in his kitchen by a friend, an 'experimental piercer.' He is standing outside a metal van, next to a metal fence, surrounded by metal amps, speakers, guitars and electrical equipment. 'Not a good idea,' he acknowledges and heads for the pink and blue SHADOWS FALL bus." Read more.