Ozzy Osbourne and most of his bandmates in this current lineup of Black Sabbath have been at it for almost five decades but you couldn’t tell that on Saturday night in Tacoma. They were full of energy and played everything you’d expect them to play, the heavy-hitters like “Warpigs”, “Children of the Grave”, “Fairies Wear Boots” and they absolutely slaughtered “N.I.B”., which of course started out with Geezer Butler’s fuzzed out bass.
This was my third time seeing the band and they sounded better than they ever have, even all these years later. Of course this tour has been billed as “The End” and if this really is the end, they sure are going out on top. Filling in for Bill Ward behind the kit on this final tour is Tommy Clufetos who was spot on and while Ward is a legend, Clufetos proved he is a beast on the drums. He literally tortured the skins all night long, including a monster drum solo which led into “Iron Man”
Tommy Iommi, who has defined a generation of heavy guitar players worldwide was absolutely on top of his game, proving once again that he is in a class all his own on the electric guitar. Bad ass leads and his trademark heavy-as-hell rhythms had the audience of their minds for the entore set.
Ozzy who was battling sinusitis this week, forcing the band to postpone some of their concerts, clearly has recovered and the time off seemed to re-energize the Prince of Darkness. His vocals were spot on and like he always does engaged the crowd, bringing them to a frenzy. His trademark “Go Fucking Crazy” was a welcome sight for the crowd and they didn’t let him down. They went fucking crazy.
The video intro that played on a massive screen set up behind the stage before their set, featuring a badass looking gigantic demon, led into the entrance of the band, which brought the house down. That got the near capacity crowd to their feet and not many sat back down for the next 2 plus hours, which ended with an energetic version of “Paranoid” and found the arena floor covered Black Sabbath confetti.
Opening the show was Rival Sons a great newer rock band from Long Beach, CA. Obviously, opening for Black Sabbath would be dream gig for most rock bands and Rival Sons frontman Jay Buchanan mentioned that. He asked how many musicians were in the crowd and judging by the show of hands, there were plenty – he told them being up there feels just how you would imagine it does.
The Rival Sons proved to be a worthy opener and were well received by the Tacoma Dome audience. Warming up for a band like the massively popular Sabbath could be a tough gig for a much lesser-known outfit but Rival Sons has the chops and Scott Holiday is one hell of a guitar player. They are reminiscent of early the British blues explosion, Led Zeppelin meets Bad Company is probably the best way to describe their sound.
It was a great night at the Tacoma Dome and no one left disappointed, instead they were filled of some of the greatest hard rock or heavy metal ever made. And if this is the last time we’ll see them around here, they definitely went out with a bang.
Black Sabbath Setlist for Tacoma
1. Black Sabbath
2. Fairies Wear Boots
3. After Forever
4. Into the Void
6. War Pigs
7. Behind the Wall of Sleep
9. Hand of Doom
10. Rat Salad
11. Iron Man
12. Dirty Women
13. Children of the Grave