8/7: BLACK SABBATH IN NJ REVIEW

Went to see Black Sabbath this past Sunday in NJ. I thought the band sounded great. As you guys know by now I have no problem calling it as I honestly see it, and I was very impressed with the performance these guys turned in at this stage of their career. Tony looked and sounded great and Geezer remains the king of metal bass players. Obviously there is only one Bill Ward, and it would have been great to see him play to make this a true reunion, but I must say Tommy Clufetos was a beast in his place. The guy is fun to watch play and hits like a monster. Ozzy is always the variable when it comes to live performance. During the 20 years after he first announced a retirement his solo career and live ability has been up and down, and by many accounts not always real with obvious “assistance” at times. Sabbath themselves, while working with Dio as Heaven & Hell, often said that band existed because Ozzy could no longer sing many of the Sabbath classics. But in my view Ozzy sounded better than he has in years, and from my estimation was 100% live. He fronted the band in classic Ozzy fashion and sure he had some off notes, but way better than most of the recent times I have heard him. It seems the band tuning down and him finding a register he can deal with has helped. He did seem to get a bit winded toward the end of the nearly 2 hour set, but given his age it’s understandable. The NY Post ran a headline that said “Ozzy is awful” after the show. Clearly they didn’t see Ozzy on some of the last few solo tours. I found his performance to be solid all things considered. The set list featured the usual hits, a few new tunes, and some deep track. The opened with “War Pigs”, closed with “Paranoid”. The song “Black Sabbath” was in the set and in my view should have opened the show. Nothing cooler than that to start. The strangest choice in the set was the inclusion of a new song only on the special edition of 13?! It’s hard enough to get new stuff over for classic bands, but a song on a version of the album most don’t have (not even me!)? Weird choice. The other thing I noticed was the venue was packed! I mean full on sell out of the seats and lawn. With many bands struggling to draw Sabbath was smart making this NJ show it’s, only area appearance and not over playing the area. I nice Sunday night and people came from all over and jammed the place. For all that was made of Bill Ward not being on board, the truth is it hasn’t seemed to stop one person from going to the show. That’s not meant as a knock on Bill, again, would have LOVED to see him with them, but when power plays over business go down with bands it all comes down to “will this guy not being there hurt the draw”. And sadly for Bill it clearly hasn’t with sell out shows and a #1 album. Business is business. I also couldn’t help to think of the late great Ronnie James Dio watching Geezer and Tony play. This was the first time I saw them without RJD in a number of years. Having been very involved in working with those guys with the launch of Heaven & Hell on the media side in TV and radio it was the first time seeing them play without him in a long time. I love BOTH versions of Sabbath, but it still hit me while watching that tragically we will never hear that band play Dio era material again. I would suggest seeing this show if you can. These are the founding fathers of metal still bringing it, and you never know how much more is left in the tank at this stage. But I was very impressed all the way around.

 

Also a quick note of thanks to my friends Officer Wayne, Detective Sean, and Theresa for the ticket. As you know because of the extremely warped issues Sharon Osbourne has with me (even though I don’t know her!) I seem to become toxic around anyone having anything to do with Sabbath when Ozzy is in the band (all the positives like this review of course never go acknowledged). As a result, I assume for giving honest opinions, I don’t get interviews with Ozzy and not invited to Sabbath activities when he is in the band. He has never been on TMS even though he watches and loves it from MANY sources. But I wasn’t going to let such silliness stop me from seeing a band I love and giving an accurate review in my opinion. My friends got me a ticket and we went to the show and had a blast! So thanks to them. And I’ll continue to speak my mind, good, bad or otherwise regardless of childish reactions from some.

 

PS: MOST important Tony Iommi looked to be in good health and played great!

Comments

  1. Great job, Eddie! Kind of surprised that your friends Tony n Geezer don’t put Yoko Osborne in her place re you. Anyway, thanks for the great job u do. See u soon @the Bow!

  2. Jim Crismale says:

    Keep up the great work Eddie, very accurate review. I couldn’t agree more, looking forward to Philly show.

  3. Ed Sorton says:

    Eddie….KUDOS for being 100% spot-on with the review. This, in my opinion, could be the very last chance to see the lineup, even without Bill. I thought Tommy absolutely killed it!! Hats off to him…I am sure he never anticipated doing this with his career.
    Now for my beloved OZZY…..LOL….I saw him on his 62nd B-Day at the Byrne Arena (still call it that, sorry)….he played 2:20, and was INCREDIBLE. Now, almost 3 years later, he is still solid. Yes, he had some ‘moments’ later in the show, but he is now going on 65. What I think may be taking away from things is the fact that they chose to do this tour at OUTDOOR pavilions. WHY??? They started in TX, went to FLA, and then on…..the first few shows were 90+ degrees…..I think that this alone is wearing them down faster than normal. I drove 5+hrs. from very north NJ to VA to see them, because I HATE PNC, and I got really great seats down there….it was low 80’s, but you could still see the sweat pouring off of their foreheads…..all the while he was playing, Tony had to keep pushing his glasses back up….
    All in all, it was ONE FOR THE AGES…..truly hope they keep going!!

  4. Excellent review, Eddie! I was at the show and agree 100% that Ozzy sounded the best he has in years and believe that playing in a key he was comfortable with made all the difference. Solid set (Methademic is an AWESOME tune!) and the crowd was great – not to mention the weather couldn’t have cooperated more, especially for those of us hanging out on the lawn. Thank you for posting one of the few show reviews that didn’t drag Ozzy through the mud!

  5. Highlight of the show was Fairies and Black Sabbath….they were so much better then I expected.

  6. Stacey Higgins says:

    Thanks for the review! Since I respect your opinion more than any other reviews, I am now more excited to see them in a few weeks in Indy!

  7. I agree with Eddie, keeping it to one performance in NJ delivers a packed house and that’s good for everyone. I also always though that the live “Speak of the Devil” concert with Brad Gillis on Guitar was one smoking band that I would have loved to see with Ozzy.

  8. Ozzy did an interview recently where he said that bill ward wasn’t in the band because he’s overweight and physically can’t do the shows. I don’t think it has anything to do with business – it’s a health thing. No matter, I got a chance to see the entire original sabbath a few times in the late 90s early 2000s for ozzfest tours and they were awesome.

    • It IS business. If he couldn’t have done the shows then they could have made a change during planning… They used Ozzy’s solo band drummer, not like it was a tough search.

  9. are you all tone deaf? ozzy most of the time was NOT in key. Iommi and Butler made that concert worth going to but if you think ozzy “sounded best in years” you are out of your mind.

  10. eddie,sabbath,or heaven n hell,was n will always be better with Ronnie jame dio,then ozzy.thats why yoko osbourne doesn’t like you,you loved Ronnie.listen to the songs with Ronnie,n ozzy.rjd wins hands down,yoko cant get over that.the woman just kinda sucks the life out of Sabbath,no bill ward.ozzy has nore more balls,he should kick her to the curb,get bill ward back,n rock his ass off,even if it kills him,thats black Sabbath.rest in peace Ronnie james,you rock,we rock.

  11. Dio rocked, but his Sabbath is nowhere near as good as Ozzy’s.

  12. Good call on the outdoor venues Sabbath played & the humidity. Aerosmith’s tour last summer was nearly all arenas & amphitheatres.

  13. I agree 100% , but i did like the fact they did the song from special edition disk ,i think they r all great songs.

  14. Whitesnake says:

    Why couldn’t you just pay for a ticket like the rest of us? I thought you were a regular guy and a “man of the people”?

  15. Todd Fagan says:

    Ozzy does good for a man his age. Glad to see PNC PACKED, first show on the tour that wasn’t papered,

  16. I was an Ozzy guy when I was younger and a DIO guy when I was older. I still love them both, but at least Ronnie was an AMAZING singer until the very end. The Youtube clips I’ve seen of Ozzy on this tour are SO bad. I’m glad they were able to come together at the end and put out 13. It’s too bad Bill couldn’t have been along for the ride to bring Sabbath full circle. I wish Tony the best of health. Heaven & Hell- Live from Radio City is MY favorite live recording of Sabbath.

  17. Saw them in Tampa, Ozzy sounded damn good considering!

  18. Hey Eddie,I know we all grew up loving Sabbath but what I saw at Mohegan Sun in CT. last night was just sad. The Band sounded great but Ozzy was simply awful. I talked to a lot of blind Ozzy devotees who thought he was ok but they were just kidding themselves. I am old enough to have seen all incarnations of this legendary band and this is a bad way to go out. Ozzy cut the mustard on 5 of the 18 songs they played and I’m being kind. He was pathetic sounding and moved around like a senior citizen. The New York post was dead on with their review. If any one thinks that sound good, You don’t know the difference between sharp and flat. What a shame.

  19. Why couldn’t you just buy a ticket like the rest of us? Surely she can’t stop you from buying one…why would she? I wish I could go to free shows all the time.

  20. who ever posted negatives well up your ass. awesome show would pay any amount to see the kings of metal do it again.

  21. dio,heaven and hell,tour,with queensryche,and alice cooper was the best,period,ozzy is a million years old,should be singing in a rocking chair

  22. Eddie-
    Usually agree with you almost always, and I wasn’t at the NJ show so I can’t speak for it, but last night in Phila the band smoked but Ozzy was really off key almost the whole night. I was cringing half the night…..almost as bad as Paul Stanley has been sounding for the last 5 years. It’s sad, I’ve seen Ozzy many times, and this was absolutely the worst I’ve ever heard him. Not ever known as a top notch vocalist, I give Ozzy a pass over the years for just being OK, but last night was BRUTAL LOL!
    On a positive note, me and my 2 stepsons(14 and 17) met Jim Florentine out in the parking lot last night and he was extremely nice to me and my sons and we hung for about 10 mins with him talking shop-big thanks to him!

    • I’ve heard many complain about Ozzy’s voice. It was not amazing by any stretch what I saw, but better than recent years.

    • Eddie—Why are you hallucinating? Ozzy sucks and can’t sing! Also, why didn’t you just pay for the ticket? You make more money than myself and most of the commenters here. Are you kidding me? Open the wallet!

      • Who said I didn’t? How do you know how much I make?? Maybe one of those guys that thinks you are on TV and radio and wealthy? Like the people that also think any band that released an album is also set for life??? Wow, amazing. I gave my honest opinion of the show I saw. With Sharon O’s treatment of me I would have loved to destroy the show, but I don’t let that cloud what I do, give it honest and straight as I see it! I only pointed out how I got in to show I wouldn’t be prevented from giving an honest review. Get it??

  23. Dio was older than Ozzy right? Age has very little to do with it in this particular case.

  24. I saw Ozzy a few years ago at MSG and he sounded amazing. The videos I’ve seen of this tour haven’t impressed me as far as Ozzy’s voice goes. The band sounds great, but Ozzy is off key and off time though a majority of the songs. I’m not buying “13” or going to any of the shows because of the Bill Ward situation, but people I know who went to the PNC show said that “Ozzy was off key and dissappointing.” Like Eddie said, it’s always hit or miss with him.

  25. Dave Fitzgerald says:

    Im sorry…but Ozzy is singing about every song at least 2 or 3 pitches out of key. your just being kind…, I understand though…I love him just as much as you do. AND actually Eddie.you are WRONG, you said not having Bill Ward hasn’t stopped one person from going…well it stopped me. it may sound Ridiculous..but sue me. Im not trying to beat a dead horse here.. but No ward…No reunion. That would have been like Eric Singer being in the 1996 KISS reunion…fuck that.Not gonna go..and its the very reason I refuse to go see my favorite band KISS to this day.Sabbath did to Ward exactly what Paul and Gene did to Peter Criss…”oh he is just the fuckin drummer…he really didn’t write any of these songs, we will pay him less for the shows” Even though everyone knows the damn drummer is the one who works the hardest at these concerts…I wish Ozzy and KISS would retire.. I went to the first Sabbath reunion and was there front row, with PANTERA opening at the Dayton Nutter Center…that is good enough for me.I will cherish the great memories of the REAL Sabbath reunion..and not taint it with this last ditch effort cash in before they die.Tony and Geezer sound great……so what. With all of these youtube videos out now…Sababath will see their ticket sales dwindle.He should pretend he broke his hip and cancel the tour and stop ripping the fans off.KISS needs to do the same….Paul Stanley actually sounds worse than Ozzy. TMS should do a “PLEASE RETIRE!” segment on the show . :)

    • I would agree with you that Ozzy and Kiss should have retired when they said they were, each well over ten years ago. But the show I saw with Ozzy was solid. Never said this was a Sabbath REUNION, but it is 3/4 Sabbath and shows are packed. I love Bill, but from an economic standpoint it has not hurt them.

  26. Eddie,
    I saw Youtube clips of the PNC show…Ozzy sounds horrible! You’re kidding yourself, honestly. They tuned down to accomadate Ozzy but he’s singing even more off-key. Coming from a musician, I probobly notice more than an average fan, but anyone should know when a singer is offkey!

    • Compared to his last few solo tours, half of which he wasn’t even singing for real, it sounded much better to me. This is like people thinking DLR sounds bad now. Guess you didn’t see him in the 80’s! He could NEVER sing well live! He’s better now because he is trying and sober at least…

  27. Eddie,
    Why couldn’t you just buy a ticket? You probobly make more money than most people posting comments(including myself).

    • Who said I didn’t?? Are you guys serious? THIS is what concerns you? And how the hell does anyone know what I make VS others on this site? You have to be kidding me… See my previous post. Simply trying to point out the objectivity of my review and that’s what comes from it?

  28. I took my 15 yr old son to the show in Chicago Illinois. Although Ozzy isn’t what he once was, I’ve seen black sabbath in the 70’s with RJD in the 80’s and reunion tour in the 2000’s. I thought it was one of the most iconic shows I’ve even seen. During ” dirty women” Ozzy was horse but the rest of the show he sang great! If Sabbath preforms in a town near you … Don’t miss the last chance you’ll EVER get to see them.

  29. Saw the show last night at MGM Grand which in my opinion was much better than the opening show in The Woodlands. Don’t get me wrong the first show was good and the heat index was somewhere around 105 degrees and it was outside so I’m sure that had something to do with it. Enjoyed both shows and am glad just to have been able to see them again. Sorry I missed your after party, but I was beat. Tony looks and sounds great, Geezer is Geezer always great and the new drummer blew everyone away. Would go again in a minute. Keep rockin’ and what do we have to do to get more episodes of that Metal show? Love watching you guys. Best thing on TV these days.

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