Black Sabbath 2013 Melbourne concert review

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“Let’s see those fucking hands!”

“Everybody jump!”

“Is everyone having a fucking good time?”

“I can’t fucking hear you!”

Ozzy Osbourne loves to please a crowd. After nearly four decades of waiting, Black Sabbath finally returned six feet down under to Australia with three out of the four original members.

Firstly I’d like to congratulate alternative rock supporting band Shihad for giving me a great first impression with incredibly loud guitar music! I’m keen to check them out, because they have such a fiery energy.

Opening with sirens blazing, the Black Sabbath went straight into ‘War Pigs’ and Ozzy’s voice sounded surprisingly in good shape for a 64 year old. That’s not to say he was in top form the entire show, unfortunately. The band did not shy away from smiling at each other, displaying just as much excitement about the reunion as the fans.

After getting through a few old favourites, we were treated to the world premiere of a new song off their upcoming album ‘13’, entitled ‘Loner’. During this and the other two new songs, the crowd were either eagerly listening or eagerly grabbing a drink. I think that’s unfortunate because I can always appreciate new material.

During ‘Black Sabbath’, the crowd took out their phones and lighters to lighten up the joint…as well as their own joints. It’s been a while since I’ve had to experience second hand smoking in a crowd. A personal highlight for me was Geezer Butler’s bass solo at the start of ‘N.I.B.’. That’s some fine finger picking skills right there and it certainly left me inspired.

‘Fairies Wear Boots’ is my favourite Sabbath song, and I enjoyed every minute of Tony Iommi’s metal pumping riffs. Ozzy then left the stage to let the other boys jam to ‘Symptom of the Universe’ and then just left fill-in drummer Tommy Clufetos to play a rather lengthy solo. I thought this was a bit strange due to the controversy surrounding original drummer Bill Ward. Clufetos may not be a member of the band, but I guess it’s nice that his existence is acknowledged.

Returning to play ‘Iron Man’, the crowd was incredibly excited to hear one of the greatest guitar riffs of all time played by the great man who penned it. It’s a riff so iconic that Ozzy had the crowd sing along to it.

‘Paranoid’ ended the show on a high note, with the crowd jumping about, singing along, and realising that this was their last chance to crowd surf. I am a relatively new fan of Black Sabbath, so I avoided watching their live videos to make the concert a fresh experience, and the show ended up being even better than I expected!

My friend Pigeon also had a great time, except for a random person in the crowd making him feel rather uncomfortable. During ‘Snowblind’, Iommi opened with that great riff and everyone started to jump. Pigeon stopped jumping, but the middle-aged man in front of him kept on bouncing very close to Pigeon, like he was grinding him. To make matters worse, his long oily hair was snowing dandruff and smelt terrible. You could say Pigeon experienced “Snowgrind”. Hehehehe. Something happens to him almost every concert, so go follow his blog at Pigeon Stories for reviews and more hilariously embarrassing tales to show your sympathy (or lack thereof).

Hope you guys enjoyed reading this. Did you agree, disagree? What are your experience with Black Sabbath and are you looking forward to the new album? I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below!

Rating: 4/5

Here’s the setlist, with my favourite moments in bold.

  1. War Pigs 
  2. Into the Void 
  3. Under the Sun 
  4. Snowblind 
  5. Loner  (World Premiere)
  6. Black Sabbath 
  7. Behind the Wall of Sleep 
  8. N.I.B. 
  9. End of the Beginning 
  10. Fairies Wear Boots 
  11. Symptom of the Universe (instrumental)
  12. Drum Solo 
  13. Iron Man 
  14. God Is Dead? 
  15. Dirty Women 
  16. Children of the Grave 
  17. Paranoid (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Intro)
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17 comments

    1. Hi Steve
      Thanks for your compliment and well done on your review! It read very professionally and I agree with much of what you were saying. I think we can all see that Ozzy acts a bit silly on stage 🙂
      Cheers
      Stefan

  1. I saw the Houston Texas show last night. I am a hugh Sabbath and Ozzy fan since the 60’s. i am a Houston musician of 40 years.
    This is the first time I have ever seen Ozzy sing every song in the wrong key from the music – i get it that he is doing that to save his voice for the tour. I guess its great all in itself that he is up there.
    The band was PERFECT!

    1. Hello!
      That’s awesome, you’ve been a fan since the beginning. Wow, I bet it must be a surreal experience to have a new album with Ozzy after all this time!

    2. Oh, I am belly laughing right now about the whole Ozzy singing out of key thing! I’m going to the Las Vegas show. I watched the you tube vidds and commented to my wife that the band sounds great but Ozzy is way F***ed up. But hen it’s Ozzy, right???? Whatever! Let’s have fun!

      1. Haha Ozzy is in his 60s I don’t really expect him to be a perfect singer at this point. In saying that I’m not a singer or have a musically trained ear but I think he sounded MOSTLY ok.

  2. I truly can’t wait!! Got meet and greet VIP tickets in Vancouver on Aug 22. I’m 45yr’s old and have followed Ozzy and sabbath since I was 8yrs old. Very excited!!

    1. Hello John

      That’s great to hear I’m so happy for you! I’m just 20 years and consider myself a relatively new fan, but I’ll be enjoying Sabbath for years to come!

  3. Just saw them in Bogota Colombia (Oct 19, 2103)and i have to disagree with the reviews. Though the band sounded good and ozzies voice was up to par, the band went on at 8:30 and ended promptly at 10:00. He gave one encour and then good night bogota. It was a very matter of fact, mundane performance, “another stop on the tour, make sure the check does not bounce, lets get back to the hotel and go to sleep” attitude. I am 50 and this was a rock concert better suited for my parents. I took my girlfriend with me, it was her first concert ever and she is a huge Ozzie fan, and she was disappointed that “THIS” was the famed Black Sabbath? How sad….

  4. Hi! Great review! Did you get the standing tickets or the seated ones? Im considering to go to their 2016 shows but i wonder how early do people line up in order to get spots in the first few rows?

    Cheers!

      1. how rowdy did the crowd get, though? And i’d be bringing a 15 year old kid, would that be a problem? She’s a frequent concert goer as well and has been to an Anthrax show in the past.

  5. If she’s been to Anthrax I think she’ll be fine. The crowd didn’t get that rowdy at all, remember that Black Sabbath are generally slow and heavy, whereas Anthrax is fast thrash!

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