British honour to Tony Iommi

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Tony and Sabbath boys rock Canada!


The glorious Black Sabbath tour is going on! The boys played gigs in Montreal QC, London ON, Hamilton ON, and Ottawa ON in Canada. That's what Ottawa Citizen writes about last night with Sabbath:

It was a massive night of metal at the Garage on Sunday as a mostly reunited Black Sabbath roared into town on the strength of the very successful disc 13, the band’s first studio album in many years.

Just seeing and hearing original members Tony Iommi, who has recently fought off cancer, Geezer Butler and Ozzy Osbourne back together again after several years apart might almost have been enough for some diehards, but for those looking for some entertainment, the band did not disappoint. Ozzy’s voice may have lost just a tiny bit of range as time and life have taken a toll, but no matter. Butler’s pounding bass and Iommi’s skilful guitar chops remain untarnished.

The essence of Sabbath is the hard-edged blues rock that they started with in the late 1960s and 13, the “new” album, has recaptured that more-stripped-down style. It has been surprisingly popular, rising to become the band’s first No. 1. It should not come as too much of a surprise that the band credits the respected producer Rick Rubin with the direction of the disc. There is, at the essence of any great band, something elemental that can capture an audience and keep that following over the decades, expanding it even to a new generation. We are talking 45 years in the case of Black Sabbath, which emerged from the working class streets of Birmingham in industrial-strength Britain.

Sunday night they played some songs from the new disc including stomping out Age of Reason, End of the Beginning and God Is Dead?

But most fans were primed for the hits and Black Sabbath knows where the bread is buttered. So they opened with a raunchy version of War Pigs, with the pumped-up audience of 13,000 standing and singing like a massive chorus, and then featured throughout the show such goodies as Into the Void, Fairies Wear Boots, Black Sabbath (featuring a crowd full of flicked lighters) and a slamming version of Iron Man. The night ended with a rocking version of Paranoid.

The evening opened with a dexterous performance by the Saskatoon native Jordan Cook, a.k.a. Reignwolf. The young man pounded on a kick drum and wielded a seriously mean guitar. He stepped that way up during a solo stint when he hammered on a set of drums while simultaneously playing his axe. Reignwolf provided the perfect start for a full evening meal of the heavy stuff.

In the end though, there was no doubt — on Sunday night, Black Sabbath ruled.

By Peter Robb for Ottawa Citizen, 14 April 2014

Photo by Alexander John McWatters

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