It was a thing of thundering beauty, made all that more poignant by the knowledge that there won’t be many more opportunities to experience it again.
It was the beginning of a long goodbye for local fans, as the legendary heavy metal band Black Sabbath brought its farewell tour to the SAP Center in San Jose on Tuesday. The other shoe is scheduled to drop when Ozzy and crew return to the Bay Area to perform on Sept. 15 at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
The British band managed to underscore all the reasons why it will be so dearly missed during Tuesday’s show. Indeed, Sabbath sounded so strong that, at times, it seemed like an absolutely ludicrous idea for these guys to even be thinking about hanging it up. Yet, if the goal is to go out on top — in peak fighting form — then Sabbath is right on track.
Following the opening set by Rival Sons, the main attraction took the stage and slowly uncurled its namesake song, the epic title track to the 1970 debut “Black Sabbath.” Osbourne’s vocals, which have ranged greatly in quality over the years, sounded comparatively strong on this night — powerful, confident and (mostly) clear. The 67-year-old former reality TV star also showed a goodly amount of energy, running about and clapping his hands.
The group then charged through “Fairies Wear Boots,” from the 1970 quadruple-platinum effort “Paranoid.” Iommi starred in this song, like he did in so many others. The supremely talented guitarist, who has battled cancer in recent years, was a regular volcano of riffs, firing off leads so hot they should’ve come with warning labels.
The sold-out crowd, numbering some 13,000 strong, reacted with great enthusiasm to the heavy metal onslaught. The fans, many of whom were old enough to possibly remember buying “Paranoid” on eight-track tape, sang along at top volume and pumped their firsts in air for much of the approximately two-hour show.
The set list drew almost exclusively from the band’s first three albums. Unfortunately, Sabbath only played one track (“Snowblind”) from what is, by far, its best album — 1972’s “Vol. 4” — and it entirely skipped over 1973’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.” Hearing the title track to the later, after all, should be required at all Sabbath shows.
Sabbath did find time for “Dirty Women,” a tune that stands as one of the few reasons for listening to the band’s seventh studio album, 1976’s “Technical Ecstasy.” It also remembered “God Is Dead?” from “13,” the band’s 19th — and supposedly final — album.
Supporting Iommi, Osbourne and Ward — three founding members of the band — was Tommy Clufetos, a powerhouse drummer who has worked with Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and others. Clufetos was handling the beats and rhythms originally made famous by Bill Ward, who left the fold in 2013.
The band closed the main set with an epic run through “Children of the Grave,” which featured more fireworks from Iommi, and then returned for an encore of “Paranoid.”
Article courtsey of Times-standard.com / by Jim Harrington