Black Sabbath at the O2 Arena
Black Sabbath’s The End tour has been saddening and yet also exciting for fans of all generations, sad to say goodbye to one of rock’s greatest influences yet also thankful to be given the opportunity to see them one last time. Opening the show with graphics of a burning world, Sabbath stayed true to their trademark ethos: the spirit of rebellion submerged within Gothic visuals.
Osbourne stood before the crowd for one of the last times, dressed head to toe in Ozzy-black, as the band kicked off with their self-titled song from their self-titled album, Black Sabbath; his unique, adenoidal voice pierced through the atmosphere. The aesthetics of the gig didn’t fail to deliver: as the flames continued to burn throughout the duration of the show, and graphics of burning civilisation appeared on the side stage screens during War Pigs, the audience were surrounded with an overflow of both audio and visual.
Sabbath mostly played songs from their second – and most renowned – studio album, Paranoid, including Fairies Wear Boots, Hand of Doom and Iron Man. 47 years on from the first recording, the Birmingham rockers proved that they still retained the same energy and stage presence that gained them such popularity; guitar-hero and founding member Tony Iommi lead the four-piece. Their fans’ appreciation was confirmed by consistent chants that could be heard between songs.
There was a lot of focus on the actual playing by the musicians themselves: at one point, during Geezer Butler’s bass solo in N.I.B., a close-up of his playing was shown on the screen and the audience watched with reverence the way he mutilated the instrument’s fingerboard. Tommy Clufetos (who previously played also for Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper) stood in for original drummer Bill Ward and showed off breathtaking skills with extended drum solos, the highlights of which was the finale of Rat Salad.
The climax of the concert was the balloon drop during the second-to-last song of the set: Children of the Grave, from Sabbath’s third studio album Master of Reality. Ozzy instructed the audience to let their hair down and go absolutely wild, to which they did in complete rock’n’roll fashion and continued to do so for the encore of Paranoid, as lasers shot across the stage; the perfect end to the most anticipated farewell tour.
Photo: Black Sabbath Facebook
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