Their first Melbourne show in 40 years was met with huge anticipation. Upon entering the venue, we were greeted with the classic War Pigs. First thing noticeable was just how good the sound was. Ozzy Osbourne’s vocals were, to be honest, surprisingly note perfect while the mix was rounded out with Tony Iommi’s solid riffs and Geezer Butler’s pounding bass lines.
Seriously, I have never seen anyone attack bass strings the way Butler does it. Newcomer, Tommy Clufetos, did a stellar job behind the kit knowing full well he had big shoes to fill following the controversy around the absence of original drummer Bill Ward. Sure, Ward was missed, but honestly, I don’t think the fans really cared. All eyes were fixated on those up front.
New song, the lengthy God Is Dead, didn’t appeal to everyone though as a few punters used this moment as an opportunity to refill their beverages cementing the idea that many came to just hear the classics.
But classics are what Sabbath are all about and with a setlist including greats like Into The Void, Snowblind, Electric Funeral, N.I.B., Under The Sun, and the haunting Black Sabbath, the band were churning out a flawless performance that included one hell of a bitchin’ drum solo between Symptom Of The Universe and Iron Man. Surprise of the night was hearing Dirty Women, a song I never thought would be a staple of Sabbath’s live show but tonight we were treated with the goods.
They finished their set with Paranoid, which, did include a few bars of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath at the start, but really, with a catalogue as strong as Sabbath’s, we could have easily done without Paranoid. It’s been a staple of Ozzy’s solo sets throughout his whole career so something else a little obscure would have been nice. Regardless, it’s a personal thing and tonight, Paranoid had everyone on their feet and the rest is history.
Black Sabbath came and delivered a show of epic proportions. It was straight up rock n roll, heavy metal, stoner rock, etc. whatever you’d like to call it, and for what they have all been through, you’d have to be happy with what you got. Sure, there are always songs you wish they played but they also have the battle of trying to please those who only know the favourites, and to a degree that is exactly what they did. Symptom Of The Universe was a nice surprise though. All up, I can now say that I have seen Black Sabbath. Box ticked. Happy face.
Photos By John Raptis