A review by Jonathan Pressman

The Line Up: Ozzy Osbourne/Lead Vocals Tony Iommi/Guitar Geezer Butler/Bass Guitar Michael Bordin/Drums

Well, the long awaited reunion finally occurred. Since being introduced to this magnificent band, I have always wished to see them perform live with the original line-up (or something close to it). After securing scalped tickets, my ride suddenly discovered that he had to work that day. Finally, I got transportation to the festival with none other than my mother, who took advantage of the extra ticket. Upon entering the arena at close to 1:00, I began selling some bootlegged shirts I had made, which were quickly confiscated by security. As we got situated, Machine Head was beginning their set. Now, Great Woods is a multi-dimensional complex, with an sheltered amphitheater below, and lawn seats with large screens above.

After reclining on the lawn, I made my way down to the second stage. Although that stage was dense with security, the guards were also youths, and generally allowed people to do as they pleased. Now, I've been to cool shows before, but this shit was surreal! Being quite stoned at this time, I made my way towards Slo-Burn, the hard core band that was featured at the moment. Now, I listen to Sabbath, Ozzy, Dio, and other types of metal; however, I've nevered really had a fancy for hard core. But to see it performed live is absolutely incredible. These fellows are not much older than I am, yet they tour with the masters of metal, giving 100% to the audience and receiving just as much in return. When Coal Chamber entered the stage, I attempted to get in on the mosh pit. There was no way in hell I could compete with many others, though, and fearing my safety, I stood back on the sidelines.

It was interesting to see the amount of shirts being worn which represented all eras of Sabbath. I saw a couple of Dehumanizer tees, as well as some Forbidden shirts, which I believe were bootlegs. Also, people were wearing legitimate Headless Cross shirts, which I found quite bizarre, as the tour never visited the U.S. [Ed Note: Yes, it did.] Also, Cross Purposes items were common attire, and I even chanced to see someone wearing I Born Again tee.

Anyway, back to business. At around 7:40, the screen suddenly read, "OZZY". The crowd went absolutely insane. I have literally never witnessed so much mania with my own eyes in my entire life, and odds are, I never will (unless I see another Ozzy/Sabbath show!) He began with an extremely humorous video intro, in which he holds an 18 inch dildo in front of Princess Diana's face and barks, "Did YOU insert this up your husband's ass?". After that he began a comprehensive set of much of his Blizzard of Oz material, with a lengthy guitar solo in the middle of Suicide Solution.

The lights went totally black. And when Ozzy returned, Tony and Geezer were standing right beside him. A vicious, truculent sound emerged above the din of cheering spectators which I immidiatly recognised as War Pigs. I cannot remember the set in exact order, but I believe it goes as follows:

War Pigs (with air raid siren effect)
Into the Void
Sweet Leaf
Children of the Grave (with 'Embryo' intro)
Iron Man
Black Sabbath
Fairies Wear Boots

The thing about this set that I found remarkable was that the performance was raw, gripping and emotional, yet the sound was almost studio quality! Also, the selection of tunes came as a surprise, especially Into the Void and Fairies Wear Boots. Children of the Grave was absolutely sinister. Also, their was a superb (and appropriate) laser show during Sweet Leaf. The only thing that pissed me off was that they didn't show the band during the song Black Sabbath. Instead, a green cross that changed shapes kept popping up on the screen. As for the lack of Bill Ward, though it was obviously a disappointment, Michael Bordin did a more than adequate job filling in. All in all, I got my money's worth. I like Tony Martin, and I'm sure that we will see more of him and the Forbidden crew in the future. But Ozzy among the founding fathers of heavy metal, and I'm glad as hell that I saw him perform with one of the greatest bands in history, Black Sabbath.

Posted by: Joe Siegler Author Profile Page at July 14, 2010 1:27 AM