Black Sabbath are legends of metal. Black Sabbath are legends of stoner rock. Black Sabbath are the forefathers of metal. The accolades go on and on.
I was just walking into the venue when the band kicked off their set at 8.30pm. That is by far the earliest i have ever seen a headlining band start. Usually it’s 9pm or later. Leading off with the classic War Pigs from the Paranoid album. Tommy Clueftos on the drums, is a great metal drummer. He was bashing that kit, like it is the last show he is ever going to play. But he is no Bill Ward. He doesn’t have the jazz swing feel of Bill Ward.
CONSPIRACY THEORY fact 1; Bill Ward’s initials are BW. Brad Wilk, the drummer from Rage Against The Machine that replaced him in the studio for the 13 album also has the same initials, BW.
CONSPIRACY THEORY fact 2; Bill Ward is born on the 5th May. Brad Wilk is born on the 5th September. (okay i am grasping at straws here).
CONSPIRACY THEORY fact 3; Black Sabbath was formed in 1968 as a heavy blues rock band named Earth. Brad Wilk was born in 1968.
Coming off War Pigs, Into the Void and Under the Sun where let downs to me. Snowblind and Electric Funeral dragged it out even more. To use a phrase from Bill Ward, it was downer rock. Why they played those songs, instead of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sweet Leaf, or a vocal version of Symptom Of The Universe is beyond me. You could see the energy in the crowd lift when they went into the first minute of Symptom, just before the drum solo and again the same for the first minute of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, just before Paranoid.
End of the Beginning is laughable. Rick Rubin got them to recreate the song, Black Sabbath. The two songs are identical. I looked around at the audience, and everyone was laughing it off as some sort of joke.
Ozzy has said that 13 is the best album he has ever done. From the two songs i have heard so far, Ozzy seems to be forgetting that he has already done those songs.
God Is Dead! sounded better live, however the vocal melodies are weak, the song is too long and Ozzy was reading the lyrics off the teleprompter for the two new songs, so he was stumbling around a little bit with that.
Geezer Butler is the star for me. His bass work is unbelievable. He is not just a bass player, he is a back up guitar player as well. Ozzy is a walking miracle. People have taken lesser drugs and have overdosed. Ozzy still keeps on going. For the state he is in, he gave 100%. Clueftos on drums gave 500% and Iommi on guitar was the Sheriff in town.
I can tick Black Sabbath with Ozzy off my childhood list of bands i needed to see. Would i recommend them at $160 a ticket? No.
Complete Set List:
War Pigs, Into The Void, Under The Gun, Snowblind, Electric Funeral, Black Sabbath, Behind the Wall of Sleep which ended with a Geezer Butler bass solo, N.I.B., End of the Beginning (new song from 13), Fairies Wear Boots, Symptom of the Universe (for 1 minute and then the drum solo), Iron Man, God Is Dead?, Dirty Women, Children of the Grave and the encore started with the intro to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, before they went into Paranoid.