Concert review: Ozzy Osbourne and Slash bring the hard and heavy to the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa (with photos)

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Fortunately, Ozzy has not only managed to survive, but to come out on top and he's still plugging away. His stage show isn't what it used to be, and he moves a bit slower these days, but give the man some credit; while other folks his age are winding down and planning their retirement, he's still recording new material [image-1](2010's Scream was his 10th studio LP) and playing arena-sized venues (his current international tour hits more than 40 cities).

Amid a flurry of explosions and pyrotechnics, Ozzy took the stage at the St. Pete Times Forum this past Friday night to the frenzied screams of nearly 9,500 fans and launched into his 1982 hit, “Bark at the Moon.” The response was deafening and he seemed to feed off the energy, even taunting the crowd with steady retorts of “I can’t fuckin’ hear you!” They loved it and Ozzy continued to give them just what they wanted, both in 'tude and tunes -- “War Pigs,” “Iron Man,” “Crazy Train” and other classic hits were played along with newer songs like “Let Me Hear You Scream.” While the “Prince of Darkness” might be getting a little long in the tooth, he can still kick the sonic crap out of plenty of other younger heavy metal wannabees. Long live the “Godfather of Metal”!

For his contribution to the evening’s entertainment, former Guns N’ Roses guitarist (and possibly distant relative of Cousin Itt) Slash offered a frills-free set of hardcore rock. No pyrotechnics, smoke and mirrors, explosions or flying monkeys -- just a healthy dose of heavy rock marked by plenty of loud guitar solos. In sharp contrast to his nearly robotic Super Bowl performance, Slash was extremely animated, traversing back and forth across the stage, and striking poses for the crowd and pit full of photographers. The set set included songs from Slash’s 2010 self-titled solo LP as well as select Guns N’ Roses numbers, like “Night Train,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City.”

More photos from the show

Ozzy Osbourne has traveled a long, hard road of ups and downs in his 62 years of life, navigating through a nearly four-decade-long battle with drug and alcohol abuse, two marriages (one failed, the other still going strong after 30 years), multiple lawsuits, accusations of Satan worship, the death of friend and bandmate Randy Rhoads, a lucrative but rather unflattering reality TV show, and a genetic disorder very similar to Parkinson's disease known as Parkin Syndrome. He was even banned from playing the city of San Antonio, Texas for 10 years after he was arrested in 1982 for urinating on a historic landmark — while wearing a dress, no less. In sum, he's been on a heavy metal road trip that few people would have survived. (All photos and text by Jeff O'Kelley; check out the complete photo gallery after the jump.)

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