Sunday, August 4, 2013


ozzy_and_tonyBetter late than never, my first Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne concert was an incredible music memory. The reunion tour was in support of the new Black Sabbath CD, 13, which unbelievably became the band’s FIRST album to debut at #1 on the album charts. When you witness a Hall Of Fame act live, you’re always impressed by their professionalism and their intrinsic ability to take an audience and make them their own. Black Sabbath didn’t disappoint. Their set list was a combination of their greatest hits and three powerful new tracks from 13.


War Pigs

Into the Void

Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes


Age of Reason

Black Sabbath

Behind the Wall of Sleep


End of the Beginning

Fairies Wear Boots


Rat Salad

Drum Solo

Iron Man

God Is Dead?

Dirty Women

Children of the Grave



(Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Intro)

Photo By John RaptisThe initial impressions weren’t impressive. Opening act, Andrew W.K., performed a solo DJ set that lacked any imagination and was a major letdown. But then came the sirens and as the lights dimmed, the familiar thunder of War Pigs opened the show. I’ve seen my fair share of brilliant guitarists (Eddie Van Halen, Joe Perry, Yngwie, Steve Vai, BB King, Prince, Santana,…..) but Tony Iommi blew me away! Hard riffs, intricate transitions, and speed metal guitar breaks dominated the night. Geezer Butler was spot on point. Tommy Clufetos, Ozzy’s drummer, held his own in Bill Ward’s absence and his drum solo after Rat Salad was tremendous.

Black_Sabbath_at_the_Vector_Arena,_Auckland_2013Ozzy’s health and voice was the biggest concern for the tour. There were moments when his voice struggled but overall, Ozzy’s vocals were strong and his crowd interaction and energy was contagious. Songs like N.I.B., Black Sabbath, and Dirty Women generated mini-mosh pits. The crowd was dressed all in black consisting of a combination of geriatric rockers, middle aged metal fans, and a large number of teenagers getting a hard rock lesson from the masters of the game. With Tony fighting cancer, this may be the last tour for the band but if that’s true, they went out on top with a #1 new CD and as always, their epic-finale, Paranoid, got everyone on their feet, fist pumping and rocking their air guitars to the pioneers of Heavy Metal!

WAR PIGS (Opener)



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