By Noe Gutierrez

The tribute bands ‘Ozzmania’ and ‘Dirt’ will be performing all the Ozzy Osbourne and Alice In Chains classics for a free show on Friday 2/7/14 at The Date Shed in Indio. What you won’t see is a cheap imitation of these hard rock heroes.

‘Ozzmania’ is billed as Southern California’s premiere Ozzy Osbourne & Black Sabbath Tribute band. Formed in 2007, the band is made up of Michael Reade, aka Snozzy Snosbourne on vocals, Metal Mark Knapp as Zakk Wylde on guitar, Patrick O’Brien on bass and Michael Clemens on drums. Ozzmania plans to go extra, extra, extra fuckin’ crazy this Friday night.

Knapp talks about his almost unavoidable desire to play tribute to Ozzy, “Doing an Ozzy tribute wasn’t really a choice for me. I never even thought about doing a tribute to anybody else. I’ve been a huge Ozzy fan since I was a kid and with my resemblance to Zakk Wylde there was never any choice to make, it just came natural to me. Has it been WAY more challenging than I ever thought it would be? Yes! But it’s also been the most fun I’ve ever had in music.” This is the zeal that is necessary to participate in any music project let alone a tribute artist.


There has been a renewal of interest in tribute bands. This phenomenon has been sustained by fans who reminisce about their pasts with affection. Knapp concurs, “I think people want to see the bands that they grew up with and are familiar with. They want to hear the songs that take them back to ‘the good ol’ days’ and make them happy and I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to be a part of that.”

There’s also much to be said about classic rock. Its familiar guitar riffs and instantaneously recognizable drum beats are undeniable. Knapp talks about the lure of classic rock music, “I love every song we play because it’s like being in a time machine. There’s nothing better than being able to go back and relive yesteryear on a daily basis.” I think we can all relate to recollecting our memories of great times and the soundtrack that accompanied them.

Based out of the Coachella Valley, ‘Dirt’ performs the enduring music of Alice In Chains faithfully. With Mike Cordero on vocals, Vince Pacelli on guitars and vocals, Aaron Lee on bass and vocals and Jason Piazza on drums, ‘Dirt’ has the mentality that Friday will be a showcase for these two bands to express their gratitude towards its hometown crowd.

In the early 90’s forming the band was grown out of not wanting to follow any tribute trend of the time. “We wanted to do the next big thing. So Alice was it, that’s how ‘Sludge Factory’ was born, which ended being changed to ‘Dirt’ after a few shows in 1995,” Pacelli admits.

‘Dirt’ understands their place in continuing the legacy of Alice In Chains and in particular Layne Staley, who passed away in 2002. Cordero shares, “A lot of those bands and/or members are not around anymore, so what better way to pay homage to your favorite artist.” Lee adds, “Tribute bands capture a certain time frame that you like about your favorite band.” Piazza follows up with his take on things, “The industry is changing and high ticket prices to see the actual artists have led fans to go see the next best thing, a tribute.”

I asked each member of Dirt what their favorite Alice In Chains song is to perform.

Pacelli: Them Bones – “The opening riff is sick!”
Cordero: Man in the Box – “Has the best crowd response!”
Lee: A Little Bitter – “I’m biased towards this song.”
Piazza: Sea of Sorrow – “This song fuckin’ rocks!”

Both Ozzmania and Dirt have a high standard of dedication to their respective tributes. The music is ambitious music. It is not easy to play let alone perform. Many hours have been devoted to bring you the best tribute possible. Pay your respects to these fine gentlemen and honor their efforts by showing up on Friday night to the free show at The Date Shed and rocking the fuck out!
Also providing music before, during and after sets will be Desert DJ Entertainment. See you there!
Fri. Feb. 7th – The Date Shed (Indio)
Sat. Feb. 22nd – Big’s (Fullerton)
Sat. Mar. 1st – Paladino’s (Tarzana)
Fri. Mar. 14th – Troubadour (Hollywood)
Feb 7th – The Date Shed (Indio)
Feb 23rd – Riverside County National Date Festival (Indio)
April 5th – Undetermined location (In memoriam to Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley)

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