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Review of Black Sabbath's Gig in Philadelphia, Wells Fargo Center

 

Philly.come wrote about the Sabbath gig:

Fast-forward to the present: the original Sabbath (without drummer Bill Ward, lost to a contractual dispute) released an album, 13, mounted a tour with a sold-out stop at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, and made old-head metal fanatics happy.

Philly Sabbath enthusiasts who heard that Osbourne was radically off-key during previous dates got a mostly good Ozzy, with his rattling deadpan's lower register in fine (though not perfect) fettle. From the beginning - air raid sirens leading into the thundering murk of "War Pigs" - to the end notes of the swelling "Paranoid," every head banged as one, with Ozzy acting as devil/uncle/cheerleader. The fact that he, legendary guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler, wore beaming smiles during psycho-killer crunchers like "Iron Man" proves doom metal's less serious side is alive and thriving.

The rolling thunder was anchored by the pummeling drums of Tommy Clufetos.

Sabbath's scorched-earth sonics clacked and hummed harshly, with Iommi's slow, yowling six-string attack at its most ferocious on "Into the Void," his heaving sob of a solo during the mean, cocaine-filled monologue of "Snowblind," and "Black Sabbath."

That last track was this band's legacy moment: ominous, prickly, harshly psychedelic, and at once bell-ringingly clear and sludgier than a swamp filled with molasses and tar.

Butler's gnarly bass sound, whether deathly measured or fleet, brought a moody, melodic richness and a knuckle-dragging density to the proceedings. Butler, together with Clufetos, even managed a subtly, hip-swaying groove on "Fairies Wear Boots."

Though pensive questions of revolution and religion filled Butler's lyrics, wordy clunkers like "Dirty Women" and "End of the Beginning" slowed Sabbath's righteous roll.

Since the band's 1969 start, guitarist Tony Iommi's arsenal of thick, monster riffs and archly sinister solos, along with bassist Geezer Butler's nimble-fingered low-end rumble (to say nothing of his meanly fantastical lyrics), was genre-defining. Add Ozzy's cold-steel whine to the mix and Black Sabbath became a greatest heavy rock band on the planet!

Sabbath Philly Gig setlist:
War Pigs
Into the Void
Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes
Snowblind
Age of Reason
Black Sabbath
Behind the Wall of Sleep
N.I.B.
End of the Beginning
Fairies Wear Boots
Rat Salad
Iron Man
God Is Dead?
Dirty Women
Children of the Grave

Encore:
Paranoid
(Sabbath Bloody Sabbath instrumental intro)

We would like to thank a great Sabbath fan Jim Powers for really fantastic shooting of the show! The best Youtube videos of high quality ever!


Philly.com, 1 September 2013

 

 

 

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