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The original line-up of Black Sabbath last toured Australia back in 1973, so it’s safe to say they’re a little overdue. After witnessing their stunning performance in Sydney, it’s difficult to believe that any time has passed – they are truly in a league of their own.
Tonight’s show was very much the Tony & Ozzy show. Geezer Butler was fantastic on bass, Ozzy’s drummer Tommy Clufetos from his solo band equally so, but we were all there for the same 2 reasons. King of riffs, Tony Iommi’s mastery on guitar is unmatched; he literally carried the entire gig with his outstanding skill. And then there was Ozzy, the much-maligned character, who in recent years has become a parody of himself. But here none of that mattered: this was Ozzy at his crazy apocalyptic self, wailing over some of the greatest ever songs in heavy metal.
With their new album 13 due for release shortly, we were treated to the opening track End Of The Beginning and new single God Is Dead. Both sounded like they had been written back in 1970, classic Sabbath to the core. But that’s the timelessness of Black Sabbaths music, it simply doesn’t age. And the fans lapped it up as they were left delirious with classics such as War Pigs, Iron Man, N.I.B., and Paranoid. It just doesn’t get any better than this.
The only downside of the evening was the overly long line-up for entry to the floor area, and the seriously inadequate drink and toilet facilities. Many fans missed out on support act Shihad due to waiting in line for entry/bar/toilet. A venue as big as the Allphones Arena should not have these problems, and clearly they didn’t have their act together on the night. Black Sabbath, however, gave us a memorable night that will go down in many fan’s memories as the gig of the year. They were heavy, beautiful, and majestic – but given their age, will we ever see them in Australia again?