Black Sabbath is a totally unique band. Think about what comes from guitar, bass, drums and one of the most distinctive vocalists of the rock era. When Black Sabbath stops later this year, a piece of rock history will be over.
“Is this the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end”. For Melbourne it was the last Black Sabbath show ever but for Black Sabbath they still have a long way to go. There are shows still to come for Europe and the Americas.
Melbourne fans came out in the thousands to farewell the founders of metal. Before Black Sabbath there was no such thing as metal. The term was made for them. To watch them is like watching an inventor explain his device.
And so it was for 1 hour and 40 minutes until our last glimpse at Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi together took place in Melbourne, Australia.
The setlist was interesting. The newest song Dirty Women was 40 years old. Nine of the 14 songs came from the first two albums Black Sabbath and Paranoid, both released in 1970. There was nothing from the recent 13.
Black Sabbath represented a moment in time and tonight was a look back in time. It was a time when artists took risks, were themselves, spoke a message. Sabbath surfaced just after Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin and well after The Beatles, The Stones and The Who. When you think of who preceded them, they didn’t follow, instead they challenged and carved a new rock route.
Watching Sabbath’s final moments was important because it reminds everyone that greatness doesn’t come from copying, it comes from creating. From the very moment you heard the opening sounds of the very first song there was no mistaking who this band was.
Black Sabbath albums are some of the greatest artistic works of our time. We have lost so many great acts in recent times, like Bowie and Lemmy, already this year. We are at a stage in live music where we are lucky that some of the creators of the renaissance of the rock era are still here to perform … but it won’t last forever. This is a band that won’t be replaced by the next big thing.
There is definitely something surreal witnessing what we know is the final stage of one of the greatest rock bands in history.
Black Sabbath set list, Melbourne, April 19, 2016
Black Sabbath (from Black Sabbath, 1970)
Fairies Wear Boots (from Paranoid, 1970)
After Forever (from Master of Reality, 1971)
Snowblind (from Volume 4, 1974)
Into The Void (from Master of Reality, 1971)
War Pigs (from Paranoid, 1970)
Behind The Wall of Sleep (from Black Sabbath, 1970)
N.I.B. (from Black Sabbath, 1970)
Hand of Doom (from Paranoid, 1970)
Rat Salad (from Paranoid, 1970)
Iron Man (from Paranoid, 1970)
Dirty Women (from Technical Ecstasy, 1976)
Children of the Grave (from Master of Reality, 1971)
Paranoid (from Paranoid, 1970)
Article courtsey of Paul Cashmere, Noise11
Photo: courtesy of Ross Halfin