Ozzy Out – Rob Halford back in Sabbath

Yup, this morning when I checked my email, I got quite a surprise. About 20 or 30 people who had attended the Philadelphia Ozzfest gig wrote me to say that Ozzy did not sing with Black Sabbath. Rob Halford of Judas Priest handled the vocal duties for this gig. This wasn’t the first time Rob Halford sang for Black Sabbath. He did that back on Nov 14 & 15, 1992 when Sabbath played with Ozzy during Ozzy’s “retirement” shows. This was quite intersting news, and my Ozzfest 2004 tour page for the Aug 26th gig has several reviews about this – much good reading there. However, I’ve decided to post this review on the news page, as I liked it.

Just got home from the show. In what came as a total surprise, as the Sabbath gear was put out on stage, roadies and stagehands tuning everything-anticipation building in the crowd–Bill Ward is standing at stage front-introduced to the crowd and greeted with loud applause–And then–A statement from Ozzy is read stating he’s ill with bronchitis and won’t be able to sing!! Rumblings in the crowd ( I’m thinking “this could get ugly”) if Sabbath doesn’t play. Then it’s announced that Rob Halford is going to handle vocals for the show. Lot’s of boos-lot of griping-Bill takes mike in hand saying–if your angry, just know that this band will play it’s Fucking Balls off for you! if you feel cheated, just know that this band will play it’s Fucking Balls off for you! AND THEY DID—Rob did a fantastic job handling the vocals, gradually turning the boos into cheers in what must have been a very tough spot to be in. The Sabs themselves played their hearts out. Tony just blistered on some extended leads, Bill adding some pounding extended endings, Geezer thundering on a nice selection of different basses. I’m sure most people wanted to see the Original Sabbath, but given the circumstances I don’t see how they could have possibly done better. I myself feel privileged to have seen this line-up and just say THANK YOU to the players for pulling it off.

I have no word if or how this will affect the next Ozzfest date (Sat the 28th) or any of the remaining gigs beyond that. Several people who sent me reviews said they took pictures, so when I get those, they’ll be in the photo gallery here.