Black Sabbath Concert Reviews
February 3, 1999
Fleet Center
Boston, MA


  • Ozzy Osbourne - Vocals
  • Tony Iommi - Guitar
  • Geezer Butler - Bass
  • Bill Ward - Drums
  • Geoff Nicholls - Keyboards


You can view the photo gallery for this concert here.


Date: Thu, 04 Feb 1999 15:15:12 -0500
From: Leonid Makarovsky <>
Subject: Black Sabbath @ Fleet, 02/03/99

Deftones, Pantera, Black Sabbath.

I was late and came after Deftones finished.

Next was Pantera. There were bunch of Pantera fans where I was sitting. But I think this band SUCKS! Not 'cause I'm old fart (I'm 30) and can't stand newer metal and Pantera are not melodic. No, I do love newer metal and listen to anything extreme from Bolt Thrower to Emperor to Tiamat to Immortal to Dark Throne to early Sepultura "Schizophrenia" (not melodic either) etc... Pantera plays backstreet / unintelligent / garage-highschool / biker / loud-stadium rock with guitar plugged in into metal distortion. This is not real metal, but metal sounding primitive rock. There was a band in late 80s early 90s called Exhorder that Pantera simply tried copy. They did a good job copying the Exhorder sound. But in addition to sound there should be descent riffs. Pantera lacks them. For curious people, check out Exhorder - Slaughter In Vatican. Exhorder also appears on Eternal Masters tribute doing Into The Void.

There was a short break after Pantera, and Black Sabbath intro video was played. Then Black Sabbath opened up with War Pigs.... Songs they played (I don't remember the order)

War Pigs N. I. B. Faires Wear Boots After Forever Electric Funeral Sweet Leaf Dirty Women Into The Void Black Sabbath Snowblind Iron Man Children of The Grave Encore: Paranoid

Sound: I have seen Kiss and AC/DC in Fleet Center before and both times sound sucked. During Black Sabbath sound was MORE than perfect.

Stage show: I don't go to see Black Sabbath 'cause of stage show, but I go to enjoy music. However, the stage show was incredible. Fireworks, burning candles during the song Black Sabbath, the rain with small brown flyers at the end of the show - it all contributed to the show to be the best.

Performance. Iommi, Geezer, Bill. I'm not gonna say much. They were perfect. They didn't miss single note. At a time Bill lost a drumstick, he asked for another one, and roadies couldn't get it to him for a while. He was beating shit out of drumkit with one hand as if nothing happened as if he was using 2 arms. It was incredible. Ozzy... before the show I was afraid he wouldn't be able to sing well due to the nodules he had. So I didn't expect that much from him, plus I was not happy with his performance in Black Sabbath in Ozzfest 97. Despite all my bad expectations, he was at his best. The guy didn't miss a single note. He was loud, he was hitting highs, he was incredible singer... Misc.... some songs were played differently from studio versions. I noticed that After Forever, Electric Funeral had a little different riffs and sounded heavier than studio versions.

Overall.. I will see if I can make it to Buffalo or to Phila to see them again. If anyone has any tickets for sale in the venues that are reachable by car from the Boston area, please let me know immideately. Enough said.


From: "Mike Culver" <>
Subject: Fleet Center vs. BankOne, MA vs. AZ
Date: Fri, 05 Feb 1999 10:47:07 PST

The Fleet Center show was unbelievable as one might expect but there were some problems I would like to address. I traveled to Phoenix for New Years and then spent a few days in Vegas. Although it was great to see Sabbath open the tour many problems were worked out in Boston that were present at Phoenix. Like there was a major problem with the sound in Phoenix that was fine in Boston. There was also a major problem with the crowd in Phoenix as compared to the Bay State. I stood in many places on the field at Bank One Ball park and wherever I traveled I would hear some Jackass yelling, "Play Crazy Train man, I love that song" Needless to say he was not a true Sabbath fan. I found that many people in AZ didn't get the whole Sabbath experience, most were just standing around with there thumbs up there ass. I know there were many who appreciated the experience they were receiving, and I do not mean to offend you but the majority were a bunch of fools. Ozzy was even fed up telling the crowd that they do suck and really aren't loud and getting into it.

At Boston the response and crowd energy was what I had expected at Phoenix and for all the Sab shows. Ozzy was certainly pleased and probably had hearing problems the next morning, not from the sound system but from the never yielding crowd. Sabbath played the same set list they have been the whole tour with no real exceptions. A few notes that do stand out were Tony really jamming out to Black Sabbath, he really digged the show and crowd. Fortunatelly Ward didn't have to do a drum solo, you know what I mean if you saw his pathetic display on New Years, don't get me wrong he is great just not ready to jam like Mike Borden solo.

What really made me happy about the Boston show was the people I was surrounded by. Most everyone around me was experianced enought to sing along with the more obscure Sab tunes on the play list, like Into the Void, Faries, and After Forever. Ozzy really fucked up Dirty Woman and lost the crowd within it. Maybe because he followed Snow Blind with Dirty Woman. The only negative part to the show(for songs they played) was Dirty Woman, I love the song but Sabbath lost the crowd with it. They should drop it and play anything else, Jonny Blade or Supernaut?

Even though I pray for Sabbath to just cover an album like Never Say Die, or Tech. Ex, or whatever, something that most haven't heard, I know it won't happen. So I just have to listen to the old bootlegs and original albums to get my fix. So until next time, Keep burning metal through the  atmosphere...

Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1999 14:02:22 EST
Subject: Reunion%20Tour%20Report

Although it was not a Sunday, the church of heavy metal celebrated Black Sabbath on Wednesday night at Boston's Fleetcenter.

The faithful congregation was there in vast numbers to hear Father Ozzy and his esteemed colleagues preach their gospel, complete with thunderous guitar riffs, wicked bass grooves, and crushing drum beats.

As they ascended onto the smoke-filled stage, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi,Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward were received with deafening applause from their loyal fans. For some, it had been over twenty years since they witnessed these four men on stage together. The rest were virgins to the experience, and were there to learn what the myth of Black Sabbath was all about.

The entire band sounded better than ever. Following a week of rest due to a nodule developing in his throat, Osbourne's voice was spectacular, haunting, and devilish, while the music of Iommi, Butler, and Ward sounded even more evil than it did when they recorded it twenty-five years ago. From the opener "Warpigs" to the encore "Paranoid," the crowd was so loud that at times it was difficult to hear Ozzy himself sing his legendary lyrics. Classics like "N.I.B.," "Fairies Wear Boots," and "Sweet Leaf" made up the early part of the set, but it wasn't until the song "Black Sabbath" that the true essence of the band forced itself into the minds of each and every person in the arena. The gothic torches burned bright flames, as did the thousands of lighters surrounding the stage. Osbourne approached the microphone, a "big black shape with eyes of fire," with his arms stretched outward like a vulture ready to attack, or an angel ready to fly. The slow, demonic lyrics and hypnotizing music began. Everybody - the band and the crowd - was at a standstill. Then came the final section of the song like a fiery explosion. Iommi, Butler, and Ward increased the tempo as a madness overtook Osbourne, who began running and leaping intensely, with the face of a devil, engaging in frog-like acrobatics. The band was crazy, the crowd was crazy, and that is exactly what Osbourne aims for - mass insanity. The song came to a screeching halt, and somehow thebreathless crowd managed a blaring applause, which was met with an "I love you all" from Ozzy.

The band closed the show with "Iron Man," "Children of the Grave," and theencore "Paranoid," which was preceded by one final invitation to "go fucking crazy" by Ozzy. The final notes of the infamous riff were played, and a stream of fireworks and confetti filled the arena, the epitome of one of those eighties concert videos that people love, whether they want to admit it or not. The crowd exited to the tune of "Changes," with not much to say. The intensity they felt was quite enough.

Date: Sat, 06 Feb 1999 00:00:04 +0000
From: Mark & Deb Wilson <>
Subject: Reunion Tour Report

Sabbath was absolutely AWESOME! I almost didn't go to the show, being an old Sabbath fan who saw the original lineup 3 times in the mid 70's I was afraid they wouldn't quite live up to my great memories of the past. By the time I decided to get some tickets the show was sold out. Lucky for me my brother got two tickets in the 15th row.

Their sound was brillant, loud and forceful but crystal clear. Seemed to me I could make out every note played. The audience was a great mix, lots of new young fans and plenty of older fans like myself. I used to tell people how great Sabbath was in the early seventies. Lots of crowd involvement and singing along on the songs. Tonight was the same way. People were singing along, flashing the peace sign and just having a blast. Ozzy wasn't quite as wild as he was twenty years ago but he is still a great frontman. Geezer was slick as ever and Tony was just outstanding. I did miss the old Iommi twenty minute solo but he was brillant, especially on Dirty Women & Snowblind. In some other reviews on your site some people cut down Billy Ward but he seemed as powerful as ever to me.

Highlites for me were the opening number War Pigs, Electric Funeral, After Forever and of course the song Black Sabbath. Only disappointment was nothing from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath or the Sabotage albums and it seemed to be over to quickly. All you guys with tickets for future shows especially fans who saw the original lineup years ago are going to love it. Same great rock with a 90's light show and fireworks too. NEVER SAY DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

(From Joe: I hope this was about the Boston show - you didn't say what show this was!!)

Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2001 02:44:02 -0500
From: The Charles Laquidara Radio Hour <>
Subject: Reunion Tour Report


Dave Lawrence here at Boston's Original Classic Rock ( most directly). I am a member of the airstaff at 'ZLX & work w/ Charles in the morning.

I'm doing a three-show Sabbath odyssey: Boston, Nassau Coliseum, and the  old Philly Spectrum... I would have written before now, but I've been busy.  Anyway, I have a little time so I'll blast out a report!

Sabbbath ruled and in a big way. They appear to be doing the same set each  night. I've seen varying reports from folks with quite different song orders, but I think that comes more from confusion than anything else. Here's what they did at The Fleet Center, and Nassau Coliseum, and no doubt they've probably done this same set at nearly every show:


That was it. And it rocked. The Boys followed The Def Tones and then Pantera, both modern heavy metal bands, The Def Tones mixing rap in pretty heavily. Sabbath faced a crowd made up half of younger folks MUCH more familiar with the riffs of Dimebag Darryl from Pantera, rather than Tony Iommi and obscure references to by-gone eras like "Dirty Women", the classic dirge from Sabbath's ill-fated and largely ignored 1976 studio release "Technical Ecstasy". As far as I'm concerned, that tune makes this a bona fide reunion. If they didn't pay some respect to those of us WHO BOUGHT EVERY ALBUM, AND LEARNED EVERY RIFF, AND LIVED AND BREATHED IT, than it would be as bogus as their detractors might claim. But alas, it was not. Though big Bill looked, well, bigger than ever, and he sounded a bit sloppy, he still was Bill, WHO WE NEED. GOD BLESS YOU BILL WARD. And without Cozy around, God Bless the Bill Man even more. And Ozzy's voice sounded pretty ragged, but it WAS THE REAL THING, I think. You hear these rumours, about some little room with the guy from Lynch Mob singing as a ghost performer, but I heard nothing to indicate anything more than a little Eventide Harmonizing going on. I'm a seasoned concert goer, and in my line of work, I see a lot of stuff, and Ozzy sounded live, and real. They did have Geoff Nicholls back there, but his channels seemed to be low on the mixing console, at least that's what my ears heard. He pipes in with some vocals here and there, some keys now & again, and maybe punches in alittle monkey business that could be triggered from the keyboard, but Ididn't hear anything that sounded suspect. Tony Iommi sounded crisp and clear, and looked totally into it. He and Oz had a good few quality exchanges in Boston, but more in NY at Nassau Col. Also, Geezer/Tony exchanges seemed in short supply at the Boston show, and were MUCH MORE EVIDENT at Nassau Col. You wonder how they're getting paid; it has to be Ozzy's operation, and then The Boys are salaried, I assume. Maybe Bill and  Geez come in a little lighter than Tony, who probably owns the name (or  should, as far as I'm concerned, for all of his persistence, if often in  vain). But it sure was good at both shows (and I'm sure at most shows) when   Ozzy gets down on his knees and bows to the Tony Man.... THE WAY IT SHOULD   BE. AMEN. Nassau just had a little better vibe, with WHAT SEEMED LIKE, and  I could be wrong, a few less knuckleheads in the house, and more older Sabbath heads. Here's what I mean: In Boston, during Panteras third... song, should I call it?, the two rows in front of ours (in premium $$$ seats, too) erupted into a massive, blood splattering brawl that coated nearly every surface in their seating area with gush of the unsafe, bio-hazardous material, all quite on-display as venue staff promptly set up a mobile cleaning operation that went on under a multitude of flashlights a small army of security provided. It was a scene, with the young and belligerent participants locked onto each other for some time, taking much muscle power to untangle and remove. These same members of the 'Boston Intelligentsia Elite' (that's a joke, folks), who for their few moments of time with Pantera before their big fight, sang along loudly and thrashed about like convulting fish dying while making a last gasp, re-appeared for Sabbaths set, only to stand there as if frozen in a trance, yawning occasionally and only barely aware of the history unfolding onstage. they got their War Pigs, their Iron Man, their Paranoid and one or two others they recognized, but otherwise they stood there looking bored... How the times have changed, when what to my ears faceless speed and death metal gets the kids going crazy, and then the original Black Sabbath seems to put them to sleep. And it looked like Pantera had some responsibility for packing the joints, too. They are surely on the bill to ensure that extra sold-out edge. But the 'silent majority', and that's really what the legions of old Sabbath heads are, appeared to thoroughly enjoy and be totally engrossed by the show. They are either a bit burnt out and frizzy, scary looking, or just mature looking blue-collar dudes, reunited with old friends. That's the core old Sabbath audience in a quick sketch. And they were there to see The Boys break out a few choice nugs, and also tear up the standard classics, but TOGETHER. Sabbath, the real Sabbath. Tony. Ozzy. Bill. Geezer. That, my friends, was what we got. It was a fucking happening man! And confetti and streamers printed with the bands name? How cool is that? I'll tell you... It's Black Sabbath cool. Thanks boys. You're charging a pretty penny, and the swag is WAY TOO PRICEY, but the tunes rocked and rocked hard. GOD BLESS BLACK SABBATH. Overall, an amazing show, and I can't wait to hit the finale of my Sabbath Odyssey in Philly at the old Spectrum. Keep it together, Boys. Stay healthy, and I'll BE THERE to witness the magic again. Thanks again Sabbath. It was a blast!

From: "Friends Pub & Eatery" <>
Subject: Reunion Tour Report
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 14:54:48 -0500

The Reunion tour stopped off in Boston on 2/3,and it was the single most skullcrushing,mind-obliterating experience that this long time Sabhead has ever had.From the opening strains of "War Pigs" to the show closing rain of black confetti,it was something I will never,ever forget.MUSICAL ORGASM,SENSORY OVERLOAD!!! Way too much for one brain to take in completely.The show got more awesome by the second.If anyone reading this has any doubts about going to see the Sabs in their area,put them right out of your mind because I GUARANTEE that you will never see anything like this ever again.SET LIST-War Pigs,NIB,After Forever,Fairies,Electric Funeral,Sweet Leaf,Into The Void,Dirty Women,Black Sabbath,Snowblind,Iron Man,Children Of The Grave,encore,Paranoid.PUT THE IDEA OF NOT GOING RIGHT OUT OF YOUR HEAD!!!! Pat C.

From: "Shawn Eaton" <>
Subject: Reunion Tour Report
Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 12:38:36 -0500

The Boston show was astounding! The pyrotechnics, streamers and confetti; the awesome sound and comraderie of the band; the crazed crowd; Ozzy's question" You wanna see a new studio album and have us come back again?" practically STUNNED the was worth coughing up $100 to a scalper to see the guys together again and doing so great!

Any fan who misses this tour should crawl into a hole, curl up and rot away, since they're missing THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES!!!( At least, that's how I feel)

Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 02:45:25 EST
Subject: Reunion Tour Report

This is a report on the Feb 3,1999 show at the Fleet Center, Boston, Ma. First of all, it was an experience of a lifetime to witness the original Black Sabbath kick ass. I had been waiting 20 years for this show. Though the set list was the typical radio hits, the energy the band released, fueled the crowd into a frenzy. Ozzy was showing his throat problem, constantly spraying his throat with antiseptic after each song, and forgetting a few lyrics (there were no teleprompters on stage). Needless to say, his showmanship was in classic Ozzy style. Bill Ward was incredible and powerful, and Geezer and Tony looked and sounded great. The only down fall to the show was that many true classics such as "Killing Yourself to Live," "Hole in the Sky," "Symptom of the Universe," and even "Never Say Die" were not on the set list. Over all, the band sounded excellent and the sold out crowd responded actively throughout the set. Openers Pantera sounded great ripping through a power set and the Deftones experienced sound quality problems, which is expected when your the first band out.

Date sent: Fri, 14 May 1999 12:26:50 -0400
From: Jack Beermann <>
Subject: Reunion Tour Report


I sent this shortly after the show but did not see it posted with the other reviews. Here it is again if you want to post it.

Jack Beermann


I thought I would share some thoughts on the Feb. 3 concert in Boston. I have been a fan since the early 70s, but I never got to see Sabbath before so this was very special for me. I had a great time, and for the most part the show completely lived up to my expectations. All the playing was great--I cannot overstate how amazing it is to see and hear what Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Tony Iommi can do. Bill is the perfect drummer for Sabbath's music, filling just where filling is needed but not being too showy in a way that would distract. I have seen videos of Ozzy live, so I kind of knew what to expect, but I was not prepared for how lovable he seems on stage. He is really fit, judging by how much he moves around. Although he tries to look menacing, with his makeup and his devilish smiles, to me he gives the impression of just a nice guy who is happy to give pleasure to his fans and enjoy the moment. One thing I noticed is that during the show, Ozzy did not appear to acknowledge Bill Ward's presence. They kissed at the end when the band took its bows, so maybe it's just Ozzy's thing not to acknowledge the drummer--he did interact with Geezer and Tony--but I noticed.

I thought that almost every song was played amazingly well. The highlights for me were Children of the Grave, Into the Void, NIB, Paranoid and, of course, Black Sabbath. I thought that Black Sabbath was musically and visually the best part of the show.

The negatives for me were the following. I was off to the side where I could see the extra musician on the side of the stage. He sang almost every word the Ozzy sang, even the "all right nows" on Sweet Leaf, and sometimes I wondered whose voice I was hearing, because sometimes it was just hard to hear the vocals. He also played some guitar and some keyboard, and once there was a keyboard sound when he was not playing, so it must have been a programmed midi loop. On the song Black Sabbath he did not sing and Ozzy sounded great. For me this was distracting, and I would have preferred it if he were off stage, watching Ozzy on a monitor or something. Also, a few of the songs never got together for me. War Pigs and Iron Man are the ones that come to mind. I don't know if it was the sound, the playing or a combination, but those two songs just missed in my opinion, and I love both songs. Last, I would have liked to hear something from my favorite album, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, but that did not bother me too much since I love all the other early stuff also.

Finally, I want to thank Black Sabbath for filling this gap in my rock education. Now if I could just get Peter Gabriel to rejoin Genesis for a reunion, that part of my life would be complete. I should say that it is an odd business to go to a concert and see the original band, not a cover or tribute band, play a set where all the music is 20 years old or more. It is risky, because there is always the chance that the band is not really into it, having made dozens of songs since then. But these guys did it, and I felt that they and the crowd were rejoicing in the present, not the past.