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!

41 Responses

  1. 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!

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

    2. 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!

    3. 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??

  2. 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.

  3. 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 . 🙂

    1. 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.

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