Wow it’s Saturday night in Sydney an I have a ticket to see the legendary Black Sabbath at the Qudos Bank Arena. As I make my way through a sea of black t-shirts, I am amazed at the mix of young an old concert goers. Sabbath really are a band that crosses through generations of metal loving fans.
I take my seat side of stage a bit under half way along The back drop on the screen is the Master of Realities cover I am already excited and full of nervous energy which I can not wait to unleash. The lights go out the video screen plays something that looks like a video game set in an apocalyptic waste land it takes us to a factory a where a demon is hatched and then an explosion and flaming Sabbath logo appears. I am already jumping out of my skin.
Out walks the band asks ‘how we doing ?’. I truly find it hard to write in words that feeling I had seeing Ozzy hunched over the microphone in long trench coat his voice is almost demonic and the lighting gives it a supernatural feel and when he does that demonic laughter into the first few lines of Black Sabbath i think to myself lord help me now for i am truly in the presence of the dark one.
Through out the opening set songs Fairies Wear Boots, After Forever, Snow Blind and Into the Void, the video back drop uses a a very trippy and cool 60’s inspired LSD type graphic washing over the band. The video back drop would change through out the night but i really liked the LSD looking one the most.
We are issued the standard state challenge of who can scream the loudest and then Ozzy takes the time to introduce us to the band as if they need introduction but cheers go out to the amazing Geezer Butler on Bass, on the drums Tommy Clufetos and on Guitar the legendary Tony Iommi then its time for Snowblind. After Snowblind ends Ozzy tells us he loves us all and gets down on the ground and bows to us Wayne’s World were not worthy style, but it us that should be doing the bowing
Black Sabbaths music is metal and can be really rocked out too but it can also be trance like and just getting you to rock back and forth. I hadn’t really seen the crowd goes berserk since the opening track but all that was about to change. As he says ‘here’s a little number you might know War Pigs‘. The howling sirens and use of lighting is real effective as a red light swirls around almost getting me to get up an bail as if i was being chased by the authorities. The crowd looses their shit and become the most vocal they have been all night and start to clap, hearing us all sing in unison ‘In the fields the bodies burning, as the war machine keeps turning‘ . was truly one of the most awesome moments of the night.
After that amazing performance they would go on to play Behind The Wall Of Sleep with Wasp intro, Geezer finishes that track off with a boss bass solo next up N.I.B with Basically intro, both tracks are received with thundering applause as all tracks have been thus far, Moving right along they get into Hand Of Doom, i look out over the sea of people and notice one particular member has removed her top in appreciation of such an epic song.
At the end of Rat Salad Ozzy runs off the stage out the back and when the track is fully complete Tony and Gezzer depart as well this leaves drummer Tommy Clufetos to give one hell of a drum solo it goes for over 5 mins every time we thought it was finished we we stand and cheer only for him to let loose with more. The double kick drum pounding through our chest when you look up at the screen you can see just how fast his hands move across the kit, the lights flicker on off in response to him bashing away it is the most epic display of drumming i have ever scene.
When Ozzy retakes the stage Tommy is still banging away revving us up as he leads into the one of the most iconic unmistakable song intros of all time and when he says ‘I am Ironman‘ i get chills. the song Dirty Women gets a dedication to Tony Iommi and he even finishes it off with a guitar solo as i watch him shred away i think to myself what a blast it must be to get up there an play those power chords hearing them belt out the stadium speakers as they do and watch the crowd going nuts for it.
Before finishing off the encore Ozzy gives us a deal if we go crazy then we get more song after this one. The request is easily fore filled because the track is Children Of The Grave the heavy riff sound ensures hard heavy moshing. After its done we begin to shout ONE MORE SONG ! Ozzy says we got to get louder then that so we do, we are encouraged to go fucking nuts for this is the last song of the night and what a way to end it with Paranoid. It sees the response from us all it deserves bodies go flying thru the air people who had been sitting down stand and sing getting it all out.
And with that it is all over it is thank you and good night the band take a final bow and just to confirm it the video screen says the end a chant in the tune of ole ole ole breaks out but it is over and time to get out. Ozzy’s voice sounded fantastic you couldn’t fault it. As already mentioned above Tony plays guitar like a demon, Geezer is a boss on his bass and drummer Tommy smashed it out of the park it all added up for one spectacular nights performance i will never forget.