Music Monday: Black Sabbath The End Tour

black sabbath
Ozzy in the spotlight, coming out on stage at the start of their set

Last night, Black Sabbath came to Utah for their “The End” tour, which is dubbed as their final live performances as a band. This was my second time seeing them live.

2001 – Ozzfest with all 4 Original Members

ozzfest 2001
The lineup of bands that were at Ozzfest 2001

The first time I saw Black Sabbath live was on June 30, 2001 at that year’s Ozzfest date, held at Blockbuster Pavilion [now called San Manuel Amphitheater] in San Bernardino, CA. Black Sabbath was the headliner of the show, although their set list was barely an hour long with 10 songs performed.

Set List

  • N.I.B.
  • Snowblind
  • Scary Dreams
  • War Pigs
  • Iron Man
  • Into the Void
  • Black Sabbath
  • The Wizard
  • Paranoid (With “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” tease intro)
  • Children of the Grave

It was cool to see the live band. I had grown up listing to them since the early 70’s, embracing their “Master Of Reality” album as the first one I owned, eventually owning all of the first 8 albums that featured Ozzy as the lead singer. The live cuts were great, including a new song called “Scary Dreams”, which was part of aborted studio sessions which were supposed to be released as a new album.

There were several other tours after that, including Ozzfest 2005, which had a scheduled stop in Utah, but thanks to a various reasons (Ozzy getting sick and/or low tickets sales), the entire date was cancelled. I had tickets for my daughter and I to go and even took the day off work as well. That second concert to see Black Sabbath would have to wait 11 years.

2016 – The End Minus One

black sabbath
The stage and backdrop screen awaits

I was very elated when almost a year ago, Black Sabbath announced a September 11, 2016 date for Usana Amphitheater here in Salt Lake City.

I was very surprised with this date for the final tour. So many bands that I wish would come here hardly ever do anymore. That meant this was a show not to be missed.

black sabbath
Got my lawn tickets

I admit to waiting until last month to get my lawn tickets [we went to the show with other friends that were hanging out on the lawn] as Ozzy tends to cancel shows. But he’s been in top shape for this final Black Sabbath tour, so I had my hopes up. And he and the band didn’t disappoint.

The only disappointing part of the show was original drummer Bill Ward was not a part of any of this tour [or any dates on their “13” tour back a couple years ago]. Sitting in for Bill is Tommy Clefetos, the drummer for Ozzy’s solo band. Thank goodness I saw the original band back in 2001, but can’t fault Tommy as he performed very well.

Set List

  • Black Sabbath
  • Fairies Wear Boots
  • After Forever
  • Into the Void
  • Snowblind
  • War Pigs
  • Behind the Wall of Sleep (with ‘Wasp’ intro)
  • N.I.B.
  • Hand of Doom
  • Rat Salad (with Tommy Clufetos drum solo)
  • Iron Man
  • Dirty Women
  • Children of the Grave (with ‘Embryo’ intro)
  • Encore:

  • Paranoid

black sabbath
Ozzy during “Iron Man”

The set was mostly pulled from the first 3 albums, with a couple of songs like “Snowblind” and “Dirty Women” coming from “Volume 4” and “Technical Ecstasy”, respectfully. The almost 10 minute long drum solo was during the song “Rat Salad”, which the studio version of the song included a drum solo by Bill Ward.

While my daughter and I had lawn tickets, the friends we were there with at the show last night were able to find someone that had reserved seat tickets that we all found our way to during the last 4 songs of the concert.

Ozzy, Tony and Geezer were in top form for pretty much every song. My favorite of the night was “Into The Void” which is one of my favorites from the “Master Of Reality” album, mentioned above. Each song including the concert ending “Paranoid” was done so well. Hard to believe they only played 90 minutes, but they stuck to an identical set list that’s been performed at previous dates on this tour.

black sabbath
The End of Black Sabbath

At the end, Ozzy thanked the audience and said his goodbyes. Is this really it for the band? While other bands, including Ozzy himself back in 1993 with a farewell tour, I really think they are serious with this final curtain call, due to age and the fact that time is not all that kind to rock stars who played hard back in their early days.

For this final show in Utah, it was very good and one I was glad I attended.

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