Date: January 20th, 2017
Venue: 3Arena, Dublin
Line-up: Black Sabbath + Rival Sons
Taking a look through your music collection it would be hard to find a band that had not been influenced by Black Sabbath in some way. The Birmingham natives released their seminal self-titled debut more than 45 years ago paving the way for the genre of heavy metal, becoming a household name even among non-metal fans. In 2016, and through to 2017, the band have embarked on their tour that they’ve dubbed “The End”. It’s easy to be skeptical of the name given how many bands have done similar tours only to continue for years later but regardless of that this was also a rare chance to see (almost) of the bands original line-up in action.
After a lengthy wait the lights went down signalling that Black Sabbath would soon take to the stage. A large curtain that had been used to cover up the stage (and occasionally show adverts to buy merchandise) was now used to play a cheesy and questionable animation of a devil character which cut to the bands logo. With a bang this cover was ripped away to reveal the band underneath, rearing and ready to go.
Although the band has released an album since their reformation in 2011, their nineteenth 13 released in 2013, the band carefully omitted from the setlist choosing to stick to the tried and true classic material. They opened with their self-titled track from their debut album which doesn’t show its age at surprisingly enough. The bands musical influence can also be seen just simply looking at the setlist with song titles like After Forever (the Dutch symphonic band) and Snowblind (a local heavy metal band).
Despite the bands core members being well into their sixties they still had a spring in their step delivering a performance that was not expected of them. They carried themselves well through a two hour long set (even younger bands would have stopped before then). There was a brief respite for them when drummer Tommy Clufetos was given the spotlight for a five minute drum solo, this was when the screen delay really caught people’s attention and was a put off for those who had been relying on it until now.
Ozzy Osbourne is by no means the best singer but even by his own standards he sounded quite good, apart from a couple of tracks being out of his reach such as ‘Hand of Doom’. For the bands more well-known tracks, the crowd took over the vocals for ‘War Pigs’ and ‘Iron Man’. At one point Ozzy stopped to introduce the other band members with bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi having their names chanted by the crowd.
While the stage setup had been quite minimalist apart from the lights, when the dirty riff of ‘Children of the Grave’ started the balloons that had been stuck up on the ceiling had been let loose on the crowd who threw them around right the way up until the end of the show. As if that wasn’t enough, after Ozzy came out to pop up the crowd, for the encore of ‘Paranoid’ a shower of the bands own confetti rained down on the crowd which, combined with the balloons made for quite a site.
As the show came to a close the stages large screen cleared and then displayed the logo for “The End” shows. Whether this statement is true remains to been seen but for now their Dublin send-off was well received and fans would be happy if this is their send-off.
Fairies Wear Boots
Under the Sun / Every Day Comes and Goes
Into the Void
Behind the Wall of Sleep
Hand of Doom
Children of the Grave