The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
LIVE Deep Purple Journey Australia 2013




40 years since this version of Black Sabbath hit our shores (Bill Ward excepted) there was a huge amount of expectation surrounding this tour.  I mean this was really Black Sabbath and Ozzy was sober (well at least for almost two months as it turns out)…


Black Sabbath. The name is synonymous with everything rock and heavy metal. Call them what you will - The metal gods, the rock pioneers, inventors of heavy metal or quite simply put: Legends. For over 40 years this band has not only gained a cult following on a massive scale but has become one of, if not the most influential rock band of all time. Even the best and biggest of today's band's will trace their number one influence to Black Sabbath. So when the original (well, almost all and that's another story which I won't get into here) classic line-up of vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bass player Geezer Butler rolls into town, you can be sure that all the metal fans in town will be there, young, old and in-between.




I'll admit, the anticipation was pretty high but it never dawned on me just how special it would be to see these guys in person until after the show. To see the originators of what I and many others consider to be the best genre of music in the world is a special thing and once it hit me, I never took it for granted as "just another gig". This was not just another gig and that became REALLY apparent when the band took the stage and belted out "War Pigs", one of the greatest songs the band ever put out. That could have been the closer to the show quite easily but they opted instead to blow everyone away immediately. After that it was simply a string of classic after classic - "Into the Void", "Under the Sun", "Snowblind", "Black Sabbath", "Behind the Wall of Sleep", "N.I.B.", "Fairies Wear Boots" and so on. The classics, the original Sabbath stuff, the Ozzy era.  In my humble opinion, the best and only Black Sabbath worth listening to.




Was the band performance up to scratch? Aside from Ozzy's stumbling stage presence and somewhat off-key vocals, the band sounded amazing! It was still great to see Ozzy of course, running around and getting the crowd whipped into a frenzy and his stage presence as one of the great front men cannot be disputed, however he was the weaker link in the overall band's performance but I think it was a minor issue in the show.  Tony on the other hand still has the chops, those trademark doomy riffs sprawling around the arena, his laid back swagger and quiet persona just mesmerizing to watch. Most people probably focus more on Ozzy but for me personally, it was always about Iommi when it came to Sabbath. They don't call this guy the riff master for nothing and despite his battle with lymphoma in recent times which thankfully he seems to have pulled out of, he still put on a great show. Geezer Butler, also a legend in his own right, being credited as one of the most influential bass players of all time, sounded as good as he could ever be. There is no way this band could ever sound as good or the same without this man, holding not only the rhythm section of the band but pounding out huge bass lines that would easily rival the heaviest of the heavy today. Yes, Black Sabbath may be an old band whose music back then compared to today may seem tame but from what I saw and heard at this show, it was still as heavy as can be. Tame is far from what they sounded like without a doubt.




On the drums filling in for the original drummer Bill Ward, was Ozzy's drummer Tommy Clufetos who has also worked with Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper. Despite the disappointment of not seeing Ward in the lineup, Tommy held his own and did as good a job as anyone could possibly do. His drum solo after "Symptom Of The Universe" mid-way through the show was fantastic and not to be taken lightly as just another fill in. If they had to choose a drummer, I'm glad they picked him so kudos to Tommy Clufetos for stepping up.




The stage setup was also great; the multiple screens behind the band split in an almost eerie, doomy fashion certainly gave a somewhat psychedelic experience without taking too much away from the band themselves. The new arena sounded great as well which is such a huge relief considering the lack of a decent large venue in Perth for a number of years.



After "Iron Man" which probably received the biggest reaction from the crowd on the night, the band launched into a new track off the new album "13" which was released as a single recently. I did hear this song before the show and absolutely loved it, the final 3 minutes is pure old school Black Sabbath all over, a great track and a promising peak into the new album. "Dirty Women" and "Children of the Grave" rounded out the show before the final encore of "Paranoid" surged through the speakers and ended one of the best shows of the year so far. Coming from a hardcore rock and metal enthusiast, seeing this legendary band in person is one of the highlights of my entire live show experiences. Even if the band had put on a really poor show, it was still special to have actually seen this classic line-up in person. Luckily it wasn't a bad show, quite the opposite and for that, it felt like a privilege to have been there.




by Andrew Schizodeluxe