Black Sabbath Concert Reviews
January 19, 1999
Rosemont Horizon
Chicago, IL


  • 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: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 04:36:30 EST
Subject: reunion at rosemont

since 1982 mob rules tour has sabbath played the rosemont horizon and they might need a tour guide for tony& bill to help them find the stageits been a long long time ive waited for this & the wait was worth it ! the opening band sucked they were giving out free cds in the parking lot dont even know their name .pantera was good phil looked like he was gonna puke he did say he was wasted & dimebag played great pretty long set.heard anthrax was there in the crowd i liked when phil honored sabbath for letting them tour with them he said another band would not let them go on tour did not know what band that was? he said sabbath are the kings of heavy metal and had the crowd chant SABBATH SABBATH several times.sabbathcame on pretty fast 15 minutes geezer came up thru the stage ozzy going nuts bill waveing to the crowd shirtless tony smiling & pranceing in that usual spot.the band was tight they should have taken dirty woman out & left sabbath bloody sabbath in the crowd just did not get into that song.after forever was a good choice instead of behind the wall.other than that same songs as reunion ozzys voice seemed good only a couple of times his voice went out but tonys guitar was loud it seemed on some songs he turned it up more like funeral it was very loud geezer was great his head all over the place his bass swinging ,tony looked cool with his shades & his red sg i never seen him smile & laugh so much,bill with his monster kit not missing a beat,even though the songs sounded a bit slower than usual it stillsounded good & very tight even seen geoff on the side.well my dream came true tonight to see the original gods of rock i hope every sabbath fan can also see this lineup,because this could be the last of sabbath,but thats  what memories are for long live tony ,ozzy ,geezer, & bill without the four  of them music would have been dead a long time ago.p.s eric you missed a  great show !!!!!thanks for the memories sabbath!!!

Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 03:20:07 -0500
From: Tom Swoboda <>
Subject: Chicago, 1-19-99

My life is half-complete. The other half varies on a weekly basis--right now it involves dumping the clutch on a Ferrari F355 just short of redline and leaving my stomach behind as a road hazard...

<ahem> But the half that's relevant to this mailing is seeing the four men who for all practical purposes invented heavy metal, all playing together  on stage again. That occurred between about 9:15 and 10:45 last night  (it's now 2:10) at the Rosemont Horizon near Chicago. The set list lacked  anything off Sabotage or SBS, which should be a major blemish on the show,  but for me it just isn't. THEY FUCKING ROCKED!!! Bill's drumming seemed  right on time, Ozzy didn't have any problems whatsoever that I could detect, the playing was tighter than hell... Was anyone at this show who saw/will see another show? Was it just me, or were they really on fire tonight? I've always felt that the tightest playing was achieved by the Martin/Murray/Powell lineup, but the originals brought it off just as well tonight, if not better.

The set list was the same as for the other shows, minus of course the songs  that were only played in Phoenix. Getting Symptom of the Universe into a  medley at least would have been nice, but again I'm not complaining, especially since we got After Forever. My favorite song of the night would probably be N.I.B. for some reason...Ozzy still does the idiotic noises to Iron Man, but I just tried to focus on Iommi's monster riff.

Well, I have to be at work at 8:00, so I'll leave those of you who have yet  to see the Sabs with dreams of demonic sugarplums dancing in your heads.  Keep the Sabbath holy...


Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 10:57:31 -0600
From: Tim Shockley <>
Subject: Chicago Show

WOW! Fucking awesome to say the least! Twelve hours after the sold out show at Rosemont Horizon, my ears are still ringing! And with good reason. My wife and I had FIRST row directly in front of Tony Iommi! Amazingly, we got our tix from Ticket Bastard who, for once, came through! Actually, the people on both sides of us did Ticket Bastard, so maybe, somehow, Sabbath made sure the REAL fans got the good seats!? Security was pretty tight so I couldn't sneak in a camera. Bummer! There's a million things for sale. The lime green shirts sold out immediately! There's also a HUGE BS cross for $50. First band Incubus sucked big time. Yet another Rage Against The Korn reject. And since when is a turntable an instrument? Pantera were actually better than I thought they'd be, tho' that's not saying much. Singer Phil Anselmo did one of the stupidest things I've ever seen. Someone threw a small object on stage, maybe a lighter. He threw his mike into the audience. The result? About twenty seats got trashed! Nice goin', pal. As for Sabbath, they were damn near perfect. How anyone could give them a bad review is beyond me. This was the fifth time I'd seen the original Sabbath and the third time from first row, so I think I know what I'm talking about! They might be tighter than ever. The setlist was basically (!) the same as posted here, tho' they didn't play "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath." :( Maybe Ozzy couldn't hit the hight notes? He did sound great, tho', much better than on Reunion. Ozzy looks like he lost a lot of weight. Bill Ward looked and played great. Vinnie who? As always,Tony & Geezer were The Dynamic Duo! A chick threw her bra onstage and Geezer put it on his bass! The whole band was laughing! From our seats we couldn't tell if there were video screens, but they filmed the entire gig. It was also the most indoor pyrotechnics I'd ever seen. We could feel the flames! My wife and I both  got Pantera picks (woo-woo), and she also got one from Iommi! I've scanned  them if anyone wants to see them. I still have scans of the first row  ticket, too. SABBATH STILL RULE!!!

Tim Shockley

Rock review, Black Sabbath at the Rosemont Horizon   (This originally appeared here:,1259,2000052,00.html)

By Greg Kot
Wednesday, January 20, 1999

Back in the early '70s, when Black Sabbath was making music as foreboding as its name, Ozzy Osbourne sang, "I've seen the future/And I've left it behind."

Who would've thought that the hard-living members of Sabbath even had a future back then? But as evidenced by a sold-out crowd at the Rosemont Horizon on Tuesday, it appears that even the harshest of nihilists sometimes get a second chance. In the first Chicago concert in 20 years by the British metal band's original lineup, Sabbath occasionally lumbered like a heavyweight boxer who had been hit a few too many times, but was still standing dazed and triumphant at the finish.

That the quartet was credible, if not crushing, in its second go-round says a lot about the original appeal of Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. Wearing black neck to toe, except for the beer-keg-shaped, bare-chested Ward, the quartet never had any sex appeal to begin with, so there was none to lose. The band members still revel in their ordinariness, still wear the mask of tough, seen-it-all working-class stiffs fiercely loyal to their fans.

Osbourne remains one of the frumpiest front men in rock history; his eyes outlined in mascara, he minced and leapfrogged around the stage like a recent convert to the Richard Simmons school of aerobics. He played the part of the eccentric uncle and the hectoring headmaster, admonishing the crowd for not cheering loudly enough.

The singer needed help remembering lyrics to the band's classics, frequently staring into the TelePrompters positioned at his feet, and his flagging voice was propped up by backing vocalist Jeff Nicholls, positioned at a keyboard offstage.  (Ed Note: That's their spelling of Geoff, not mine)

Ward, coming off a heart attack suffered last year, no longer hits with the same crippling authority, but he demonstrated a nimble touch on the fills and with only a few exceptions, such as the stumbling midsection of "Iron Man," kept the groove steady.

Carrying the music were Iommi and Butler. The bassist, the only Sabbath member who has a clue about how to make a contemporary metal album (as evidenced by his recent solo releases), was in top form, from the tarantula-like jazz riffing that opened "N.I.B." to the tremors he ignited under the galloping set-closer, "Children of the Grave." Iommi, ever the cool surgeon in his knee-length leather overcoat, alternated talon-like riffs with solos that didn't simply parrot the old records, but turned "Into the Void" and "War Pigs" into galvanizing roller coaster rides.

The band made no pretense of updating its set list. Most of the songs were drawn from the first four classic albums, circa 1970-72, and these served mainly as a reminder that few, if any, metal bands have equaled their impact. When playing its signature song, "Black Sabbath," the sound of rain falling, thunder rumbling and a bell tolling was followed by three mighty guitar chords, struck with ritual grandeur and plunged like unseen swords into each listener's chest. Osbourne's voice of cold terror rose from the murk: "What is this that stands before me?/Figure in black that points at me ..."

It was as if Ozzy were singing about his band, risen from the dead yet again.

From: "Perkins" <>
Subject: Reunion Tour Report
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 14:35:53 -0600

Jan. 21,1999

Last night I attended the Black Sabbath concert at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago and like I said about the show I saw in Minneapolis, sabbath is the "greatest of all time!" The only difference between the two shows was the stage set-up and set list. The stage was stripped down a bit due to the size of the arena. There were still the giant torches on each side of the stage but, the giant columns that they had on each side of the stage two nights earlier were gone. The set list was changed just by the edition of "sweet leaf". All members of the band were in just great shape, especially Bill Ward. I had to sit way in the back and at the top of the arena but, you could see and hear the music just fine (and very loud). A friend of mine had seats behind the stage but, he said that it was easy to see them because Ozzy kept running behind the stage during the set. Even if your  not a huge sabbath fan and you were there, we all were a part of music  history!


Eric Perkins
Set List
War Pigs
Fairies Wear Boots
Elecrtic Funeral
After Forever
Sweet Leaf
Into the Void
Dirty Women
Black Sabbath
Iron Man
(Embryo) Children of the Grave
Paranoid (encore)

*"Changes" was the exit music

From: "Timothy Sobieraj" <>
Subject: Chicago Review
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 21:27:39 PST

January 19,1999
Chicago, IL - Rosemont Horizon
(by Tim Sobieraj)

My dreams came true when the Black Sabbath concert in Chicago, Illinois went off without a hitch. Let me tell you, it was a truly awesome experience to behold... all 4 original members on stage, alive and well, literally playing their souls out.

I sat in the 14th row, center stage. I would'nt have sold those tickets for 1000 bucks. For me, and many other fans there, it was the show of a lifetime.

Honestly, not giving the band any slack, these 50-year-olds sounded superb. Bill Ward's thundering drums proved he could silence any critic. Geezer Butler pounded out the bass with renewed enthusiasm. Tony Iommi tore it up on lead guitar. And Ozzy's aging voice and vocal chords just clicked. He was definitely in top form tonight. Plain and simple: the band was on fire and hotter than hell itself!

I had doubts and was uneasy after hearing the sound system for the opening band, INCUBUS. The system improved for PANTERA, but it still wasn't that great. But when BLACK SABBATH came out, the sound was as good as you can get for a concert. Much praise should be given to the sound crew. Ozzy's voice could be heard perfectly over the music, and Iommi's every riff, hook, and twang could be distinguished on his guitar. At certain parts, the music actually sounded better than on the CD albums, no shit.

I wrote down the set list at the show, so this is official.
********************Chicago Set List********************
(Retrospective Intro)
War Pigs
Fairies Wear Boots
After Forever
Electric Funeral
Sweet Leaf
Into the Void
Dirty Women
Black Sabbath
Iron Man
Children of the Grave
Paranoid (Encore)
I would have loved to have heard SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH and the instrumental of SYMTOM OF THE UNIVERSE, but I was just relieved that the show went so smoothly.

Ozzy could be seen taking some medicine or something after every song, undoubtly for his recent bout with the flu. He looked tired towards the end of the show, but kept up the antics and performance. The band played for an amazing hour and 25 minutes straight before taking a quick leave and then playing PARANOID for an encore.

For those of you who haven't seen the show yet, you are definitely in for a treat. The band rises out of the floor through trap doors. A giant, Gothic chandelier hangs over the stage. Torches spontaneously light on fire for the song, BLACK SABBATH. Roman Candle-type fireworks and showers of sparks from the ceiling highlight the conclusion of the show. In addition, streamers explode out of the stage and confetti rains down from the air.

With an uncertain future, this could quite possibly be the band's last live performance tour. All fans should be eternally grateful that all 4 members have eluded tragedy all these years, as many rockstars have not. We are truly lucky to have this golden opportunity to see BLACK SABBATH in their full glory once again. This is one to remember.

-Tim Sobieraj

********************Show Highlights********************
Ozzy nailed two people in the 1st row with buckets of water.

A white glow stick was thrown on stage and Ozzy tried to catch it, then chased it down and whipped it into the crowd.

Ozzy hung a bra that was thrown on stage by a woman on Geezer's guitar while he was playing.

Ozzy screamed "Alright!!!" and pointed at a topless woman.