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Ozz-Some!! London, ON show review

Photo courtesy of DEREK RUTTAN/The London Free Press/QMI Agency

Photo courtesy of DEREK RUTTAN/The London Free Press/QMI Agency

With frontman Ozzy Osbourne alternating between the all-powerful voice of doom and a prince of darkness likely to make “cuckoo” noises, it was an epic night Wednesday for British metal icons Black Sabbath and about 8,900 energized fans at Budweiser Gardens.

The jammed arena was loud and the fans on their feet singing and chanting along all the way through the opener War Pigs, as Osbourne urged them on.

“Let me see those hands,” Osbourne commanded over and over. That was Wednesday’s catchphrase, heard many times before the thunderous encore, Paranoid.

Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler were a front line ready to triumph with songs from the band’s classic days in the 1970s.

“We’re going to take you back to the very beginning,” Osbourne said during the early going. “Here’s one of our earliest compositions called” — and he paused for an open armed gesture of complete calm — Black Sabbath.”

The metal-edged dirge that followed had a classic Ozzy moment — a wild satanic laugh inspired by a devilish turn in the lyrics and a clutch of his dark, sparkling top with his painted — black, or course — fingernails. That’s why they have those big screens on rock tours.

The concert looked to be Black Sabbath’s first Ozzy-fronted gig here, making it a night of metal history in London.

In recent years, fans have seen Osbourne, as a solo act, and Heaven And Hell, with the late Ronnie James Dio joining Iommi and Butler, at the London arena.

Butler, who plays with frenzy, and Iommi, a master of dark calm, were strong all night. About 90 minutes in, the band had visited such classics as Snowblind and Iron Man — with the fans matching Ozzy’s best voice of doom moments — and a new and mighty dirge in God Is Dead? from the recent album, 13.

Early on, the frontman had shrugged off a dark cloak, revealing a much more functional dark tunic-styled top underneath. He later switched to a purple top.

Osbourne’s drummer, Tommy Clufetos, has been filling in on dates with Osbourne, Iommi and Butler in place of Billy Ward, who apparently opted out of the album and tour for contractual reasons. Wednesday’s drummer was admirably topless for April and thundered through a back-to-the-1970s solo, complete with double bass drum fury.

There were also moments when things were just Ozzy-odd.

“It’s fun being crazy because nobody takes you serious,” Osboure confided at one point, laughing gleefully. It was also impossible to keep track of the “cuckoo” noises the rock icon emitted, let alone the many variations on needing to see “those hands.”

To the fans, it was no problem. They waved and did the Ozzy sway. The hero of the night responded with some wild boots at a beach ball that occasionally made its way to the stage.

Osbourne was much more direct and on-message when he thanked fans for making 13 a No. 1 album.

By James Reaney, The London Free Press

Live…Gathered in Their Masses review

Gathered in their MassesThree founding members of Black Sabbath, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler, hit the road in support of their latest studio effort 13. The concert set list was stuffed full of Sabbath classics, a few tunes the fans were thrilled to hear, and the best cuts of the new album making this one hell of a live DVD listening experience. Of course, in this day of marketing madness, there is a DVD release, a Blu-Ray release, a combo release that comes with a CD of the show and a deluxe release, so head over to the link above and choose which one you want to purchase.
One name was missing in the first sentence of this review, and that is founding drummer Bill Ward. Bill did not go on the tour or record the album, as he did not agree with the business arrangements. Die-Hard Sabbath fans are upset about this, including this writer. But on the live performance, the band has drummer Tommy Clufetos (Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie) in the drum seat, and damn that boy can play. Technically, as a drummer, well, his more modern skills surpass Ward’s. Sure, Bill is missed as he is Bill and he did the drum pounding on those classics songs…but man, oh man, Tommy is so fricking good that one can’t help but just dig what he is doing back there. Also, one can’t help but watch him either, as he is dynamic performer. So, suffice it to say, we ALL wish Bill could have been there…but since he wasn’t…Tommy is the man.
Iommi, even though he has cancer, gives a chilling performance. He is the inventor of this kind of guitar playing and his performance is second to none. He will go down in history as the inventor of Heavy Metal and it would not surprise me that in 100 years there is a Church of Iommi worshiping his legacy. Vocally, Ozzy still has it. He is into the performance, and though he looks a bit frazzled and worn down by life, he still delivers big-time. There is something magnetic and magical that happens with Tony and Oz when they are standing next to each other. They prove that ageism does not belong in Metal music as they kick ass from start to finish. Geezer…oh Geezer…he plays the bass like a lead guitar and he is the unsung hero of this band and performance.
The big hits are there…”Iron Man,” “Paranoid,” “War Pigs,” “Children of the Grave” and “N.I.B.” yet there are other Sabbath classics trotted out that thrill the crowd. Hearing “Into the Void,” “Snowblind” and “Symptom of the Universe” once again is epic. “Fairies Wear Boots” and “Black Sabbath” are both performed well, as are some new tunes, the best of which are “End of the Beginning” and “God is Dead.”
What would have made this review an “A”? Two things: a bonus interview/ features with the four men on stage, and the entire “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” being played instead of just a tad of it as an intro to “Paranoid.” Other than that, this is one bad-ass concert.

Tracklist:

War Pigs
Into The Void
Loner
Snowblind
Black Sabbath
Behind The Wall Of
NIB
Methademic
Fairies Wear Boots
Symptom Of The Universe
Iron Man
End Of The Beginning
Children Of The Grave
God Is Dead?
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Intro)
Paranoid

Review by  Jeb Wright @ Classic Rock Revisited