Black Sabbath Concert Reviews
January 11, 1999
Rose Garden
Portland, OR


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



DatFrom: "Mike Alexander" <>
Subject: Portland, Or. show, Jan 11th
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 14:10:21 -0800

Hey All!

Well, my wife and I went to the Jan 11 show here in Portland. It was a great show too!!!!

Without going through the set list (we all know it by heart!), I'll just comment on a few things.

The opening band was "Incubus". They're not bad. If ya like Red Hot Chili Peppers, then you'll like these guys. The only thing left to say is that their drummer was set up side ways on the stage, rather than facing the audience. The singer has a good voice. The guitarist used too many effects and it covered his playing. Also, they used a guy to do that "record scrapping" (like often used in Crap....I mean Rap music) in every song.

Pantera was next. I didn't think they were all that good, but none the less, a good "show". They had lots of energy. Dimebag was hot.

The opening of Sabbath was like everyone has said, film excerpts. The stage was set up with two giant trebble cleffs on their side, on each side of the stage, with two large tiki torches in them. There were several other torches ringed around the stage. The stage screen had a large, ornate frame around it. There were circles hanging over the stage with a variety of emblems on them. Some of the same emblems were on Bill's drum set, along with the winged angel in black.

The group assended up through the floor of the stage with a fog covering the entire stage, with Bill coming in behind the drum set.

Geezer was tremendous! Several shots of him on the overhead vid showed him smiling and seeming to be having a good time. His bass lines were perfect! The only thing I personally didn't like was the wah being used on "Bassically".

Bill drummed perfectly. He did use the hi-hats on the opening of "War Pigs", but his timing seemed perfect. He only wore a black pair of shorts. When Oz introduced him later in the show, he did a kind of muscle man stand. Rather humerous!

Ozzy, God bless him, was in bad shape. He had stated that he had gotten a cold that was goining around, and his voice cracked or failed a couple of times. He really poured out though, he kept on singing, but looked really wore out. He coughed many times and hacked up some loogies a couple of times during songs. He appologized and kept going!

Oz went over to Geezer when he was jamming on "After Forever" and crouched down and looked up at him. Geezer smiled. Ozzy did some "leap frog" like jumps, and ran from side to side exciting the crowd.

Tony Played with his usual perfection. He had smiled many times and move about the stage pretty freely. He and Oz exchanged a few word that resulted in both of them laughing. Just as an added observation, he was the only one wearing a large, silver cross.

The did have the fire works at the end of the show, prior to "Paranoid", and the confetti spewed from the right side of the stage and the center, where the mixers were. There was a lot of the stuff! My wife and I went down to the floor and grabbed a few pieces as tokens of the ocassion.

The T-shirts were outrageous!!!! I have worked in the garment printing industry, and can't see paying $45-$50 for a Hanes. Yea, it is the event, but, man! A shot glass with the cross on it - $45, hats, $45, A stone 7" cross, $50, and the program guide went for $15, which we bought. We saw one guy pay $110 for 2 shirts!

I asked one of the Rose Garden officials about the attendance and the official ticket sale was 12, 600. The Garden seats 20,000.

I feel that the $51 each for the 2nd level tickets was worth it! The only thing that kind of put a damper on the evening was the two drunken fools next to me. After they had both passed out, I was really able to enjoy the show without one of them constantly staggering or slouching oven into my chair. Can you imagine paying all that cash and passing out after the 5th song!!!!

Don't get slap drunk and try to go to the concert! Enjoy the moment! We don't know if they'll be another!!

Well, that's my $.02 for what it's worth!

See ya!!!

The Headless Cross Tab Page
Fully Tabbed Black Sabbath Songs

One last thing, I did bootleg the show here in Portland on Jan. 11th. If you're interested in trading, e-mail me privately.

The tape is about 100 min., (recorded on two 90 min. tapes) but I recorded everything from the opening to Ozzy's last comments about driving home safe "or we'll come back up here and kick your asses!" I'd give the recording a C...maybe a B-.

I just wanted a tape of a show that I actually had attended, and this one being a historic tour!


Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 23:53:36 EST
Subject: Portland OR show


It was incredible to hear those songs come alive the way they were ment to be played by the people who originally wrote them! The set list for Portland (not in order) went like this;

1. Black Sabbath
2. N.I.B.
3. War Pigs
4. Paranoid
5. Iron Man
6. Electric Funeral
7. Faries Wear Boots
8. After Forever
9. Embyo
10. Children of the grave
11. Into The Void
12. Snowblind
13. Dirty Women

This show was with Pantera, who although verey cool, reduced the potential of Sabbath's set length. I was in second row so I was able to scrutinise the performance closely and I am also a bass player so I can honestly give a semi- educated opinion when I tell you this show was nearly flawless!!! They played with so much feel and grace that I think it completley blew away the 'Reunion' disk. Ozzy did have a sore throte and a cough but sang better than when I heard him solo in '96. Bill Ward absolutley RULED!!! The set is verey Sabbath style with a video screen framed like the picture from 'Sabotoge'. 'After Forever' was a religous experience! Also there were gigantic torches that lit up for 'Black Sabbath'. The shirts are no less than 30$ though, which I got, but I hope that they were concert exclusives. If you would like to know more just let me know!! I LOVE THIS SITE!!

Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 01:09:38 EST
Subject: Sabbath in Portland

Ozzy was in poor health with a cold or the flu or something, but the show was loud and fun. Bill had his steely eyes on his mates, trying to keep in time. Tony and Geezer were oh so strong, never missing a beat. Ozzy flubbed the lyrics to "Black Sabbath," which really surprised me (especially with the monitors).

The program lists Vinnie Appice as "Drummer (in case of an emergency). Pretty funny. The crowd was really into the whole event, clapping and yelling without having to be told to do so. Is there a merchandise site where one can buy tour souveniers?

Keep up the great work. I visit your site almost daily.
Jeff Sturges

From: "Wild Willy" <>
Subject: My final Portland review
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 16:03:48 -0900

I'm still really pumped up from the show. I haven't put on any CD's since. I just can't stand to break the "magic" yet. When I do, I'll probably play stuff they didn't, or do the Reunion again. I've been sitting around playing on my guitar though, and when I break out my bass again, I'll get right back to N.I.B. That's the very first lick I worked out on it when I got interested in bass guitar about a year ago!

With so much input from different sources it's hard to give a unique concert review from the same show, but I can give you my perspectives. I know some of you are thinking of skipping the entire show, with Incubus and Pantera, or whoever opens in your town, but for money I spent , I was going to see the WHOLE SHOW!

Incubus was cool I thought, although they didn't drop my jaw or anything. The dude scratching vinyl was kinda interesting, although it didn't always come out in the mix too well. I liked when the singer dude put on those bongos. The guitar player used lots of effects that someone else said was too much, but I like playing with them too. Watch for them in the future. They might take off.

Pantera was, well, Pantera. I like watching Diamond play, he's got quite some flying fingers. I was looking for his Rebel flag guitar though, and I didn't see him use it. I saw them play last year up close in Anchorage, and maybe I'm even on their home video, I don't know. They were cool personally, and were on the side stage raving up the crowd for the opening band, a bunch of scared kids doing their first major gig. When they were done, Phil and Rex came out on stage and clapped for them. It was class, man. However, I thought their music all kinda ran together, and I was hoping it would make a little more sense in Portland. It did, a little.

When Sabbath came on, I was out of the arena, and came in to see the video playing. I was too excited to pay attention to what was playing, but I *think* I heard "Hole in the Sky" Watching the video above me on the scoreboard, I didn't notice the stage until the band was already there, but I heard they rose up from the floor. I wish I was watching that, it would have been awesome! Then my brother gets this wild hair up his ass and wants to migrate further towards the stage. Man! The seats we had in Sec 114 were good! We could see the stage clearly above the floor, and the sound was right in our faces. But I went along with him, and got down on the stairs in the first section beside the stage. That was as close as I got, and I could see the part in Ozzy's hair! We stayed there all the way through War Pigs, but then they started clearing the aisles and we eventually got put back in our seats. It was hard to pay attention to N.I.B. because of that, but it sounded a bit muddled. I could hear the low end good, but the higher notes smed to drop out. I wasn't sure though cause I was busy trying to avoid security and watch the video and hear the audio all at the same time. OVERLOAD!!!!

I didn't like the video technique, it was way too fast as though they just set it on a 3 second autoswitch between the cameras. Very lousy editing. They should have focused on the main riffs with Tony, the fills with Bill, etc. They missed some critical stuff, and it looked like they had some annoying special effect when they featured Geezer's solo that was like a slow motion strobe effect. I really got a kick out of Ozzy though during Black Sabbath. His grimacing face and all! That was hilarious, and I just couldn't get over the fact that THIS WAS OZZY!!! THIS IS BLACK SABBATH AND I AM HERE, LIVE!!!

For the rest of the show, I just totally let myself go. I was jumping up and down, stamping, falling over, slamming my head around, raising my fists, singing louder than the PA, and making security watch me very closely. I usually don't go to that extreme at ANY show, but shit man, this was BLACK SABBATH!!!! I was just fucking Wild Willy!!!

During the encore when the confettii was shooting all over, I completely forgot about the stage, and was watching that stuff shoot out all over. At first it really sucked I thought, because it appeared as though the only place it was going was right to the front few rows. But being across from the mixing board, I saw it shooting out from cannons right in front of me. Then we were watching to see if maybe we could get a piece of it. Hell, it was ALL OVER and I got more than I wanted, and gave some away.

The next time I looked up, the band was gone, the final bow was frozen on the screen, and it was all over. OH NOOOOOOOO!!!!! It was too fast! I didn't even see them leave the stage!!! But that will always be a part of the mystique to me. I don't see them comng, and I never saw them leave. It was all just kind of magical.

Gawd, I want to see it again. If there as only a way, I'd come back down again and catch a couple more shows. I just haven't had my fill yet. I doubt I ever will.

From: "SabFan" <Zanardi@TheScrew.WOW>
Subject: Black Sabbath - Portland Review (long)

Sorry so late, but here is my review of the Portland show.

Incubus opened to a half full auditorium. Though not particularly original (imagine Faith No More for Korn fans), they were a small notch above the most of the current myriad of Scratch-and-Crunch bands.

By the time Pantera opened, the Garden was pretty full. There were obviously lots of fans there. The set list consisted of the usual collection from ˘Cowboys/Vulgar/Driven÷ with one or two later songs. The crowd was very supportive. Anselmo said that this was the ˘best crowd so far and that's no bullshit.÷ He continued to prove that he's the biggest moron in metal with his usual spitting, scratching and nose-blowing exhibition. Of course, the crowd loved it. Oh yeah, they also kicked  royal ass. Interestingly enough, I overheard a 40-something behind me  complain that it was ˘just a bunch of noise.÷ Of course, I was kind enough  to remind him that his dad probably thought the same thing about Sabbath in  1972. I'm not sure he appreciated my gesture:)

Cathedral and a Kyuss reunion may have been more to my taste, but let's  face it ű It could've been Celine Dion and Kenny G. I was there to see...

The Boys from Birmingham:

The show opens to a video medley of classic Sabbath. It was displayed on a huge screen behind the stage as well as on the Rose Garden's in-house system. As the video closed to thunderous crowd noise, Ozzy, Tony and Geezer rose from underneath the fog-covered stage. Of course, this  elicited a huge laugh from my friends and me. Tap would've been proud, but  I wouldn' t have wanted it any other way. The crowd rose to its feet as we  felt the mighty crush of...

I have listened to this track thousands of times, but nothing could've prepared me for the incredible power of this masterpiece live. I was stunned at the massive sound that emanated from the stacks. Ozzy was  clear, Tony and Geezer were tight and Bill was blasting. One of the four  12 year old boys in Ozzy and Pantera shirts in front of us turned to  another and shouted, ˘This is awesome!÷ I turned to my new 40-something   friend behind me and he grinned in approval. The crowd roared, Ozzy told the crowd to ˘get crazy÷ as Geezer prepared us for...

An obvious live anthem, the boys tore through it. Unfortunately, I was distracted by the usher who tripped on the stairs and split his head open about to rows behind us. What was striking was the group gathering around to help him. One old-timer complete with Dockers and a polo shirt, one  80's butt rocker in Levi's and a well worn Randy Rhoads t-shirt and (I shit  you not) one black metal disciple resplendent in black leather trench coat, Emperor t-shirt and full corpse paint. My buddy got a huge laugh by the unlikely trinity. The crowd boomed, Ozzy cried out ˘we love you all!÷ as  we heard the first notes of...

This has long been one of my favorites. Tony took minor liberties with the leads, but otherwise very faithful to the original studio track. During  one of the choruses, Ozzy sang the title lyrics first to Tony and then to  Geezer (who was banging his head enough to make Blackie Lawless run in  fear). They both smiled at the message. The crowd cheered, Ozzy said we  were ˘number one!÷ and took us...

This is where we got the first hint that all was not well with our little bat lover. His voice cracked as he strained to hit the tough notes. This was also when I first noticed the teleprompter in front of his mike stand. You might think this double dose of reality would've tempered my  significant enthusiasm. In fact, I was moved even further by my   appreciation for getting the opportunity to see our heroes at least one  time before their inevitable retirement. Having read the setlists from the  NG, I wasn't surprised by this addition to the Reunion CD list, but I was  delighted nonetheless. The crowd raged, Ozzy declared that it's ˘great to  be crazy, man!÷ and we attended an...

Ahhhh. I could almost taste the acid as the music took us away. Seemed like a good song to rest Ozzy's voice as he ripped through the uptempo sections. Bill, Geezer and Tony were unbelievably tight. The kids in  front of us seemed a bit bored by this one, but that all changed as the  crowd cheered, Ozzy restated his ˘love÷ for us as we were taken..

The definitive ˘sludge÷ forebear simply crushed. How could Godflesh,  Kyuss, Down or any of the still heavier grindcore bands even try to carry  the banner? Anselmo must sit backstage and shake his head at his admirable  but comparatively meager attempts. Ozzy's voice seemed to be tiring by now. Having read the threads about the backup singer, I looked to Geoff who ű sure enough ű was leaning towards the mike during the main verses. Let's just say that if he was brought in to cover for Ozzy, he should be fired. All I could hear was Ozzy valiantly straining to avoid another break. The crowd raised their arms and voices, Ozzy apologized for ˘singing like an asshole÷ because of his cold and we turned...

The first notes hit me like a cannon. I'd never appreciated how powerful those first chords are. During the leads, Geoff picked up a guitar and played rhythm. I was first taken aback, but gradually accepted it as  Tony's leads took a life of their own. The final 2 minutes (from ˘don't  you think...') were absolutely brilliant. The crowd roared, Ozzy said the  place was ˘crazy, man÷ as we were introduced to...

As it started, my friends turned to me wondering what song this was. One  of them told another that it must be one of the new songs off of Reunion.  He even commented afterwards that he'd heard that the new songs were pretty weak, but ˘this fucking rocks!÷ I just laughed and told him the name of  the song, figuring he'd find out sooner or later. Though the crowd overall  didn 't seem to embrace this track as much as the rest, my little section  liked it just fine, thank you. The crowd cheered, Ozzy said he ˘loved [us]  when we're crazy÷ as we met...

As the fog covered the stage and the lamps flamed, I was overcome with a kind of calm. The intro bells (played by Geoff on the keyboard) had me quietly eager for the first chords. When Tony hit the strings I was saturated by the wash of the enormous sound. I was left to wonder how the best efforts of Mayhem, Emperor, Ulver, Tiamat or any of the new breed of Black Metal bands don't even approach the sheer horror of this song. I looked back at our painted Good Samaritan as he raised his arms in praise. Ozzy's voice may have been shot, Bill's timing may have missed a step or two, but by the time it was over I was spent. The crowd exploded, Ozzy reaffirmed that we were in fact ˘Number One, Man!÷ and we encountered...

The obligatory crowd pleaser was welcomed to a chorus of cheers. I looked back at our butt rocker above as he predictably high-fived his similarly hair-sprayed fraternity. Ozzy urged the crowd to sing the opening chords, but we chose to sing the whole damn song. As much as I love this song I found myself wondering how it got so much airplay when I was in high  school. That was in the late 70's and early 80's when mainstream ˘metal÷   consisted of Scorpions, Def Leppard, Van Halen and Rush. I assume it had   something to do with the novelty of the title, but I still haven't really   figured it out. In any case, it brought the house down, Ozzy said something   about how ˘he loved being the number one fucking crazy fucker÷ (or   something to that effect) and we became...

How could this song have been written in 1971? It's simply too fast, too heavy, too powerful, too insightful. Slayer may be faster, Death may be more technical, Minor Threat may be more political and Cannibal Corpse may be more violent, but this is THE blueprint for all of the thrash, hardcore, punk, death that followed. This performance only solidified my opinion  that this song may very well be the most perfect balance of music and  lyrics in their catalog. The crowd worshipped, Ozzy said ˘Thank you!   Goodnight! We love you all!÷ and ˘We might do one more song if you get  loud enough!÷ The crowd got even louder as the band walked off of the  stage. As the chanting started to die down, Ozzy says ˘We can't hear you!÷  and the crowd responded with a roar. The four walked back on stage and we  were presented with the predictable...

I've never made it a secret that this song could find it's way off the set list (Lord of This World, maybe?) and I'd be a happier little SabFan. But what I saw changed my mind forever. Everyone around me ű the kids, the old-timers, the butt rockers, the vampires, the testosterone cowboys, boys, girls, men, women, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian ű they were all banging their heads in unison. Arms raised and pumping, they had one mind and one purpose. I've been to A LOT of shows and I'd never seen anything like  this. I guess that's what being the Founding Fathers of metal is all about.

By the time the band gave their final bows and the confetti and streamers had settled, I remembered why Black Sabbath is my favorite band. I'd laughed, I'd cheered, I'd danced, I'd banged my head, I'd learned something about the music and I'd learned something about people. SabFan may not be the most original pseudonym on the internet, but, after this ceremony, I felt proud to own it.


Subject: Re: Black Sabbath, #843
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 20:58:43 EST

I was reading Sab 843, today (sorry, my modem hasn't worked for two months, so I'm a little behind), and I saw something about Sab show's set lists. Well, I attended the concert in Portland, OR, on Jan. 11. It was awesome! INCUBUS opened, followed by PANTERA, and then the Master's of Metal Closed. Pantera rocked by the way, and I'm not a huge fan of there's, but they put on a good show. They even had the whole crowd chanting Black Sabbath in the middle of their set. Any way about the set list, Sabbath performed (in order):

War Pigs
Fairies Wear Boots
After Forever
Electric Funeral
Into the Void
Dirty Women
Black Sabbath
Iron Man
Embryo/Children of the Grave

I was kind of disappointed because they only performed 12 songs, and Ozzy was also sick. He was coughing during the instrumentals and at the end ofeach song he was drinking fluids. Even though he was sick he still sounded good. Bill Ward was incredible! He was going crazy on his set. It was a great performance by the whole band, and the best concert I've ever seen. I wish I could go again.