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Rock Buyer's Guide 

Headbanger beware: Your favorite rockers have a hold on your wallet.

The Dropkick Murphys get Warped this summer.
  • The Dropkick Murphys get Warped this summer.

Ozzy's net worth doubled in the last year, but he's not passing the savings on to you. Tickets for Ozzfest are up again for 2003 -- topping out at an ungodly $133. And metal's prince of darkness isn't alone: Virtually all of the summer's big rock festivals are priced to max out credit cards. As a service to cash-strapped readers, Soundbites presents the Summer Rock Buyer's Guide, a look at the cheapest and the steepest places to pump your fist this summer.

Emissions From the Monolith V
May 23-25 at Nyabinghi Dance Hall (Youngstown)
Tickets: $20 a day/$50 for a three-day pass
Parking: Free. Beer: $2 for a Rolling Rock draft
What to expect: A baked bacchanalia. Boasting over two dozen stoner rock and metal bands, Emissions is always a gas. This go-round, Cleveland's finest (Keelhaul, Disengage, Boulder, Red Giant) butt heads with Wisconsin weed eaters Bongzilla, San Fran space cases Acid King, and disco-tinged new-wavers Gil Mantera's Party Dream. It all goes down at the Nyabinghi Dance Hall, a mind-expanding rock watering hole decorated with mounted deer heads, Christmas lights, and a tiki bar in the back.
Verdict: The best value, with beer on the cheap and a bottom-line cost of a little over a buck a band.

Brave Words and Bloody Knuckles Six-Pack Weekend
June 12-14 at the Odeon
Tickets: $30 a day ($6 for local pre-show)
Parking: $5. Beer: $3 for a bottle of Budweiser
What to expect: One of the best metal fests of the year, with ultra-rare Stateside appearances from doom gods Candlemass and Trouble, Swedish thrash legends Entombed, and a killer local opening show featuring Parma thrashards Soulless, a reunited Somnus, and others.
Verdict: $30 seems a little steep, but for the chance to see Europe's best, the Six-Pack is still a can't-miss fest.

Lollapalooza 2003
July 20 at Blossom
Tickets: $53-$63
Parking: $5. Beer: $8 for a 24-ounce Coors
What to expect: Lollapalooza came to fame with wildly eclectic bills that paired Sinead O'Connor with the Jesus Lizard, but this year's installment is terminally milquetoast, with diddling modern rockers Incubus and overrated rappers Jurassic 5. On the plus side: The Queens of the Stone Age's mammoth man rock sounds even better in wide-open spaces, and a sidestage featuring punk wastrels the Distillers and post-hardcore savants Cave-In should raise some pierced eyebrows.
Verdict: This uninspired package could be Lollapalooza's parting shot, but Jane says spend your money elsewhere.

Ozzfest
July 22 at Blossom

Tickets: $50-$133
Parking: $5. Beer: $8 for a 24-ounce Coors
What to expect: A headbanging bank-buster. Ozzy does little more than drool, babble, and flap his arms like wounded waterfowl these days, and the mainstage mopes in Chevelle and Disturbed don't soften this blow to the pocketbook. Still, watching Marilyn Manson and his prosthetic boobies prance about in front of machismo-mad metalheads is always a hoot.
Verdict: We'd need at least a half-dozen beers to get through Disturbed and Chevelle alone, and that's 48 bucks we don't have.

Warped Tour 2003
August 5 at the Tower City Amphitheater
Tickets: $30.75
Parking: $5. Beer: $3.50 per draft.
What to expect: Warped is normally one of the summer's most entertaining fests, with continuous music on a half-dozen stages and showboating skaters hurting themselves on the half pipe. Expect lots of nipple rings, curled lips, and corporate sponsorships. This year's installment leans heavily on such well-worn Warped staples as Rancid, Pennywise, and the Dropkick Murphys.
Verdict: Still a good value, with 30-plus bands and lots of stupid human tricks.

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