Gig Review – Black Sabbath – O2 Academy Birmingham

I never thought I’d get to see this day, sure a Sabbath reunion with Ozzy was inevitable after Dio died and a hometown show was always going to be a big event, but I never expected to be there, in a 3000 capacity venue while they played some of the best heavy metal that has ever been written.

From the moment I arrived at the venue it was obvious that this was an event, the queue stretched round the corner and there was a merch van outside of the venue which is something I’ve never seen before. In the venue there was no support act, instead Radio 1 rock DJ Daniel P Carter was playing a set until 10 minutes before the band came on. It was a good decision to use a DJ instead of a band in this case because I’m sure no band would have gone down too well with a crowd of Sabbath fans that just wan to see Sabbath, that and I had a bit of fun singing along to Curl of the Burl (Mastodon) and Feast of the Damned (Black Breath).

But everyone was here for one reason and one reason alone, Black Sabbath, and my god were they on form, there had been concerns from a few people as to whether Ozzy’s voice would be up to it and if he’d get out of breath but the man was perfect and he looked like he was having the time of his life, there wasn’t a single moment where he didn’t have a smile on his face. If I didn’t know better, I would of assumed Tony Iommi was on the form of his life, his illness didn’t show through at all, and like Ozzy he looked like he was having a ball. It is a shame that something couldn’t be worked out with Bill Ward, but when I was down there in that crowd going as mental as it did, I don’t think anyone really cared.

The setlist was everything anyone could of hoped for, all of the classics that everyone can sing the riff to, opening with Into the Void was a nice surprise and showed the chaos of the crowd, I don’t think that there was a single moment where I wasn’t moving during the whole set. The singalong moment for War Pigs was incredible, the crowd was louder that Ozzy was and I’m pretty sure that every single person in that room was screaming along. Obviously songs like Paranoid and Iron Man were awesome as well, but personal highlights for me were Children of the Grave as it was the song that got me properly into Sabbath and Electric Funeral because of that fucking riff.

Black Sabbath at the O2 academy is going to be a gig that everyone there remembers for a very long time, any doubts anyone had about the reunion should have been stopped completely now. Bring on Download and the new album! 10/10

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