the End tour – Chicago concert review

chi-ct-black-sabbath-6-20160122Black Sabbath threw itself a going away party Friday at the United Center, and more than 20,000 of its closest friends packed the place.

The attire was black. Tattoos were optional, though abundantly evident. The band — except for Tommy Clueftos, the shirtless newcomer on drums — was outfitted like high priests at a black mass. Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne have pretty much been playing this same role since the late ‘60s, when rock ‘n’ roll threw them a lifeline out of the factory town of Birmingham, England.

They invented a sound and an attitude: the blues delivered with a sledgehammer, plus a bit of jazz, psychedelia and progressive rock. This was heavy metal before anyone thought to call it that, and the quartet’s first four albums – which provided the bulk of the set list Friday – remain timeless examples of the genre at its finest. The dense, dark sonics were coupled with a lyrical sensibility that had little patience for the peace-and-love bromides of the ‘60s, and instead focused on the dead-end options faced by young men in a city full of smokestacks and gangs.

The band’s nihilistic haiku still carried weight. As Osbourne sang on “Hand of Doom”: “Vietnam napalm/Disillusioning/You push the needle in.” There also were references to H.P. Lovecraft’s horror fiction, Beelzebub and the joys of getting stoned so completely that you see “a fairy with boots dancing with a dwarf.” Sure, could happen to anybody. It was all done in good fun, the suddenly philosophical Osbourne told the audience, a pushback against “all the bull—- they were giving us.” And back in the day, “they” was pretty much everybody.

And now it’s over, or so they say. Sabbath is calling this tour “The End,” a career capstone necessitated by Iommi’s recent bout with cancer and his understandable desire to back off from the band’s endless life on the road. He’s still a lean powerhouse, a nine-fingered riff machine. He and Butler remain formidable musicians and the backbone of a band that leaves behind a trove of metal landmarks.

The set hit most of the high points, which should renew the debate among Sabbath aficionados: What’s the best Iommi riff? Is it the elementally brutal one that courses through “N.I.B.”? The doomy intro that speeds up on “Into the Void”? The gallop he injects into “Children of the Grave”? The stomp of “Iron Man,” so vivid you can practically see the lumbering beast come alive? Butler was equally ferocious on bass, his fingers spider-walking with dexterity as he bridged melody and rhythm with the wah-wah-inflected intro to “N.I.B.” and brought jazz-like dexterity to “Hand of Doom.”

Clueftos played with enthusiasm, but he’s got a busy style that didn’t quite match the cinderblock power and swing of the band’s original drummer, Bill Ward, who quit a few years ago. Ward remains as indispensable to Sabbath’s sound as John Bonham was to Led Zeppelin or Keith Moon to the Who, in part because he was so adept at orchestrating drama through restraint and silence.

Osbourne, the band’s affable cheerleader of a front man, is also indispensable, and during the stern meet-the-devil doominess of “Black Sabbath,” he broke character to puff out his chest, stretch out his arms and smile like he’d just hoodwinked life. But he’s had better nights.

Like a boxer knocked woozy by one too many punches, the singer slouched physically and audibly in mid-concert, his voice wandering far off key amid the Medieval roar of “War Pigs.” But he regained his bearings as the show wound down, warning his minions to stop annihilating their own planet lest they become “Children of the Grave.”

Nothing beats a bedtime story from Uncle Ozzy.

Black Sabbath set list Friday at the United Center

1 Black Sabbath
2 Fairies Wear Boots
3 After Forever
4 Into the Void
5 Snowblind
6 War Pigs
7 Behind the Wall of Sleep
8 N.I.B.
9 Hand of Doom
10 Rat Salad
11 Iron Man
12 God is Dead?
13 Under the Sun
14 Dirty Women
15 Paranoid

Article Courtesy of Greg KotGreg KotContact Reporter ([email protected])

It was the beginning of the end – Omaha Concert Review

CZOVexrUEAASmnz[1]It was the beginning of the end.
For the first time, Black Sabbath took the stage to say goodbye.
So goodbye, Ozzy. Goodbye, Geezer, Goodbye, Tony.
In Omaha, the quintessential heavy metal band kicked off its farewell tour — dubbed “The End” — and said this really is the final hurrah.
Nearly 50 years after first forming (and 34 years to the day after Osbourne bit the head off of a bat), Black Sabbath took the stage with thundering versions of “Paranoid,” “War Pigs,” “Iron Man” and the eponymous “Black Sabbath.”
Even though it wasn’t a perfect show, it was tough to say goodbye.
Black Sabbath basically invented heavy metal. Back then, they were just four guys in Birmingham.
Fast forward 50 years and their guitar tones, howling occult lyrics, and slamming drumbeats are standard metal stuff, and those same guys stood in front of nearly 13,000 screaming fans.
Wednesday’s show was just shy of a sellout, and people packed to the rafters to watch the band kick off its final jaunt with a no-nonsense 90-minute set.
The thousands — heavily male, dressed in black and often heavily tattooed — heard the first ominous notes of “Black Sabbath” and jumped to their feet to hear the band run through its classics.
Backed by a screen full of psychedelic video streams and flanked by six flaming pyres, frontman Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi dressed all in black for the occasion.
(They were joined by drummer Tommy Clufetos, who has sat in for original drummer Bill Ward for several years.)
Iommi was pure thundering bliss on guitar. Playing some battered-up, well-used Gibson SGs, the legendary picker had a thick tone that was often menacing, sometimes forceful and always bursting with lightning.
Butler availed himself well, especially on the band’s more recognizable basslines such as “War Pigs.” And Culfetos beat the drums like he hated them.
Then there was the Ozzman.
Osbourne’s voice wasn’t great. It wasn’t awful, really. It simply wasn’t very good. On Wednesday, he was sometimes flat. He was sometimes pitchy, occasionally off-key. He almost never hit the notes he was looking for.
Osbourne did better on less vocally demanding songs such as “Dirty Women” and “Black Sabbath.”
It was the first show of the tour, so maybe his voice will warm up. Maybe they’re still working out the sound in his monitors. Maybe it’s just that he’s 67 years old.
But nothing could stop fans from loving him.
They screamed every word to “Snowblind,” and danced around for “Children of the Grave.”
When the chugging chords of “Paranoid” signaled the end of the show, the arena was brought to its feet while purple confetti rained from above. When the show ended, the band took its bow and the house lights came up, many people refused to leave their seats.
It was too hard to admit it was over. “This is the beginning of the end for us and I just wanted to say thank you for all of your support all these years,” Osbourne said at the end. “Thank you. Goodnight. God bless you all.”

01. Black Sabbath
02. Fairies Wear Boots
03. Tomorrow’s Dream
04. Into The Void
05. Snowblind
06. War Pigs
07. Behind The Wall Of Sleep
08. N.I.B.
09. Hand Of Doom
10. Rat Salad
11. Iron Man
12. Children Of The Grave
13. Dirty Women
14. Paranoid

Ozzfest 2015 set list


Here is the setlist for yesterday concert at OZZFEST Japan

01.I Don’t Know
02.Mr. Crowley (with Tom Morello)
03.Bark At The Moon (with Tom Morello)
04.Suicide Solution
05.Flying High Again
06.Shot In The Dark
07.Rat Salad ~ inc Guitar and Drum Solo
08.Iron Man (with Tom Morello & Geezer Butler)
09.N.I.B (with Tom Morello & Geezer Butler)
10.Snowblind (with Geezer Butler)
11.Behind The Wall Of Sleep (with Geezer Butler)
12.War Pigs (with Dave Navarro & Geezer Butler)
13.Fairies Wear Boots (with Dave Navarro & Geezer Butler)
14.I Don’t Want To Change The World (with Zakk Wylde)
15.Crazy Train (with Zakk Wylde)
E1.Mama, I’m Coming Home (with Zakk Wylde)
E2.Paranoid (with Zakk Wylde & Dave Navarro & Tom Morello & Geezer Butler)

Voodoo Festival: Just another Gallery

Photos courtesy of Native Orleanian

Voodoo Festival: Photos & setlist

Classic setlist for the last night show with rarely played tracks like NIB.

01 – I don t know
02 – Mr. Crowley – Tom Morello
03 – Bark at the Moon – Tom Morello
04 – Suicide Solution
05 – Shot in the dark
06 – Guitar solo – Gus G
07 – Rat Salad
08 – Drum Solo
09 – Iron Man – Geezer Butler
10 – NIB – Geezer Butler
11 – Snowblind – Geezer Butler
12 – Behind the wall of sleep – Geezer Butler
13 – War pigs – Geezer Butler
14 – Fairies wears boots – Geezer Butler
15 – I don’t want to change the wolrd
16 – Crazy Train
17 – Mama, I am coming Home
18 – Paranoid

Ozzy Collaborates on Billy Morrison New Track

billymorrisongodshapedholecd_0[1]There was a time when rock stars were so consumed with living up to their reputation as decadent, debauched icons that there was barely enough time in the day to write music and play shows. These days, life is different, especially for those like Billy Idol songwriter and guitarist Billy Morrison, who has already traveled the road of excess. When Morrison isn’t writing songs for Idol, touring, playing with his cover band Royal Machines, or creating striking modern pop art, he writes and records for his solo project. His first album, God Shaped Hole, which includes “Gods,” an original co-written with Ozzy Osbourne, comes out Oct. 23 and is available for exclusive streaming above.

Morrison worked on the album between tours and was in the studio when he received a text message from Osbourne, seeing what he was up to. “I have never asked Ozzy for anything, which is possibly why I’m one of his closest friends,” Morrison says. “I see him all the time and we text each other every day. I hadn’t texted him in a few days and he sent me a message, saying, ‘Where the f— are you?’ And I said, ‘I’m working on a solo album.’ And the next text from him was, ‘Well, I want to sing a song on your solo album.’ I thought, ‘Yeah, that would be great, mate.’ I really didn’t think too much about it.”

Morrison continued working on the album with Billy Idol drummer Erik Eldenius. The next time he saw Sharon Osbourne, he casually mentioned that Ozzy wanted to collaborate on a song. “She was 100 percent behind it,” Morrison says. “And she got me the clearances from Epic so I could release it without having to jump through any legal hoops.”
Morrison and Osbourne came up with the basic structure for the song in about 20 minutes. The rest pretty much created itself. “It was obviously channeled from something and somewhere,” Morrison says. “It wasn’t us, it was just given to us, which was amazing.”

“Gods,” which marks Osbourne’s first vocal appearance since Black Sabbath’s 2013’s comeback album 13, is one of several songs Morrison has written with the master of metal. “Everything I’ve written with Ozzy comes out sounding slightly different from what he would normally do, just because he’s working with me. I’m a rhythm guitar player, not primarily a lead guitarist, so he’s going to get a different style of writing. But this one was unlike anything we’d done before. We absolutely channeled the lyrics as well.”

Originally, Morrison planned to call his solo album Ideas and Inspirations to reflect the combination of originals and cover songs on the album. Then, Osbourne convinced him to change the title. “Ozzy was writing the chorus of ‘Gods,’ and it had the line, ‘I’ve found myself another God shaped hole.’ He looked at me and said, ‘There’s your album title.’ The song is a ballad, and I wasn’t even going to put a ballad on this album, but you don’t say no to the Prince of Darkness.”

In addition to “Gods,” God Shaped Hole features other new tracks. “Alone in the Crowd” is a modern, bluesy rocker that condemns the herd mentality; “Cinnamon Gin” is a galloping, rowdy anthem about alcoholism, which includes a mid-section embellished with TV news samples; and “Ordinary Girl” is a harmony-infused powerpop song that details a dysfunctional relationship.
God Shaped Hole also includes an unusual collection of cover songs by bands that never quite made it into the public eye: Flesh for Lulu, Senseless Things, Gary Numan and Tubeway Army, Boys Wonder, and Wasted Youth (U.K.).

“I wanted to pay tribute to the music that really inspired me growing up and gave me a feeling of invincibility that made me realize I also had something to say, despite what school and my parents were telling me,” Morrison says. “A lot of the stuff that moved me were songs no one had heard of because they were by obscure bands that had one single and then had a fight or couldn’t get arrested. So I started with the idea of recording an EP of covers that were my main inspirations, and the whole project grew from there.”

In addition to Osbourne, Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens make cameo appearances on God Shaped Hole. “They’re on there because I’m in bands with both of them and they’re my friends,” Morrison says. “I didn’t want to make this an album full of special guests. I see both of those guys a lot, so when they found out I was working on this record they said, ‘Well, hey, can I come rock a solo?’ It was that kind of casual vibe. Dave’s on one track and Steve’s on two. But this album is really meant to be Billy Morrison saying, ‘I love music. These are the songs that I like.’


Article courtesy of  Jon Wiederhorn