Saturday, May 3, 2014

Review of Black Sabbath at the Hollywood Bowl: April 26, 2014


Somehow I have made it through all 46 years of Black Sabbath’s existence without ever having attended one of their live shows. Well, I remedied this situation on Saturday night at the world-famous Hollywood Bowl!

The big news for this tour is that it includes three of the four founding members: Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, Geezer Butler on bass and Tony Iommi on guitar. Drummer Bill Ward couldn’t agree to the contract terms for the tour – whatever, it was his loss. Black Sabbath is touring in support of their latest album, 13, which is their first studio release to feature Ozzy since 1978, and the first for Geezer since 1994. It is a good album, so you might want to track down a copy.

The Hollywood Bowl is pure Los Angeles, and it is a good place to see a show. The acoustics are good, and since it is in an urban area they have to keep the volume in check. There is always a laid-back vibe, and it is my favorite Southern California outdoor concert venue. Unfortunately parking and traffic are terrible ($23 for stacked parking!), but it is LA – what are you going to do? By the way this was the band’s first appearance at The Bowl since 1972.

The show kicked off right on time at 7:30PM with the opening act, Reignwolf. Despite the terrible band name, it was really something to see. Jordan “Reignwolf” Cook’s trio put on a high-intensity 35 minute set, including a mesmerizing version of “Electric Love” which featured him playing the guitar and drums at the same time. You have to see it to believe it.

After a quick stage reset, Black Sabbath hit the stage at 8:30, and did an amazing 2-hour set, which was kicked off by “War Pigs.” They did not miss a hit, going through “Snowblind,” “Black Sabbath,” “Fairies Wear Boots,” “Rat Salad,” “Iron Man,” “God is Dead?”and finishing up with ”Paranoid” and “Zeitgeist” (from their new album) for the encore. There were a few other songs from 13 sprinkled throughout, and trust me, they all sounded like Black Sabbath songs!

Everybody was in top form for the show, especially when you take into account their ages and the extreme lifestyles they have endured. Ozzy played the frontman role perfectly with plenty of energy and his voice held up well through the whole two hours. Iommi and Butler still have their chops, and both were favorites of the crowd. Drummer Tommy Clufetos (Ozzy’s touring drummer) was huge and had one of the best solos I have ever seen in “Rat Salad.”

The sound was very good, and they had a first class light show and lasers, with good visual graphics on the giant screen behind the stage. The cameramen did a fine job of tracking the musicians, which really helped keep the audience in the swing of things. A nice touch was the firework show at the end of the show. That must have made the neighbors happy…

This was the last US stop on the Black Sabbath Reunion Tour, so this might have been your last opportunity to see Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi all on the same stage. Ozzy did say that they might be doing another album, so keep your eyes out and if they are able to do another tour it will be a must-see. Don’t live a life of regrets – check it out if you get the chance!


No comments:

Post a Comment