Darkness descended upon All Phones Arena on Saturday night as thousands of people, all wearing black, black and nothing but black, packed into the arena. They were there to see the pioneers and masters of all that is heavy and metal.
Shihad warmed the crowed up. After their set, a black curtain descended, hiding the stage as the road crew set up. The crowd was anxious as this was the original line-up's first Australian tour in 40 years.
Then at 8.30pm sirens sounded and wailed. The curtain began to lift and there they were - Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi - larger than life and in the flesh - with Tommy Clufetos on drums. As they launched straight into “War Pigs”, the crowd went crazy. Their heroes were now on stage and it appeared as if 40 years hadn’t changed a thing.
The classics kept coming, “Into the Void”, “Under the Sun,” as demonic riff after demonic riff, Sabbath brought its horror music to life.
Ozzy was energetic, his vocals sounded spot on. The Prince of Darkness gave the crowd what they came to see. Geezer’s bass was pummelling and Tony Iommi’s guitar was loud, crisp and drenched in riffs. He truly is the Heavy Metal Riff Master.
Black Sabbath have a new album, shortly to be released, and they teased us with the title track “End of the Beginning” and new single “God is Dead”, which the crowd responded very promisingly to.
It was amazing to watch Tony play the guitar, especially since he lost the tips off two of his fingers and requires false rubber tips on the ends. That doesn’t stop him though, 2 or 4 fingers, his riffs have paved the way for every metal band that followed.
The show, from start to finish, was music Heaven and the crowd, young and old, gave the band a standing ovation upon the last song “Paranoid”. A note for fans in future shows, if you’re in the front, you will get wet - Ozzy drenching the crowd with buckets of water, but nobody cared. They were watching Black Sabbath and nothing else mattered.
The show was 10/10 and all that attended knew that Black Sabbath would deliver nothing but the best.
By Michael Mammoliti
You can still catch Black Sabbath on the following dates:
Wednesday 1 May - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Saturday 4 May - Perth Arena
Tuesday 7 May - Adelaide Entertainment Centre