Black Sabbath Concert Reviews
July 14, 2004
Hilfiger at Jones Beach Ampitheatre
Wantaugh, NY


  • Ozzy Osbourne - Vocals
  • Tony Iommi - Guitar
  • Geezer Butler - Bass
  • Bill Ward - Drums
  • Adam Wakeman - Keyboards


  • War Pigs
  • N.I.B.
  • Fairies Wear Boots
  • Into the Void
  • Sweet Leaf
  • Black Sabbath
  • Snowblind
  • Iron Man
  • Children of the Grave
  • Paranoid (w/ Sabbath Bloody Sabbath intro)


You can view photos from this concert here.


From: "New York Dave"
Subject: Jones Beach Review
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2004 12:59:32 -0400

A bunch of bands comprised of spoiled suburban kids got up on stage and pouted and stomped and growled and did their best to be heavy and tough.

Then the sky opened up with a monumental thunderstorm... and Judas Priest took the stage and, much like the rain, washed away everything that had come before. Halford prowled the stage with authority, and I don't think his singing has ever been better. The band was expertly crushing in the way that only comes from playing together for 30 years. Everyone onstage seemed genuinely pleased to be together again after 12 years. Against a backdrop of driving rain and lightning that seemed, at moments, to be synchronized to the music, Priest gave a lesson in showmanship and reminded everyone present that a show is for the benefit of the audience, and putting on a good show takes somewhat more effort than simply venting one's spleen onstage and expecting the world to come and adore the "output."

Funny story: a kid scrambled onstage during the set and, oddly, stage security failed to take notice of him. Halford literally chased the kid off the stage, singing the whole time and not missing a beat. He stalked toward the guy, probably looking quite intimidating in his big suit of metal plates and leather, and the kid literally cowered and crawled off the stage as quickly as he could.

After Priest's set, a big sheer curtain was drawn across the stage. Then the rain turned from steady to pounding, and the ampitheatre was buffeted by high winds that turned umbrellas inside out, caused the stage rigging to sway ominously, and drove most of the audience to seek cover. The sky was lit up with even more lightning, which could be seen to strike some of the areas on the shoreline only a mile or so away. Then the air raid sirens sounded, announcing Black Sabbath. The audience came out of hiding and took their seats.

The four members, standing behind the curtain, were lit low from behind and their fifty-foot silhouettes loomed over the audience. Then the curtain opened and we were all crushed by the heaviest wall of sound I have ever heard at a rock concert. Records and videos do not prepare you for how big this band sounds live. The younger bands, for all their histrionics and stacks of high-gain amps, sounded like buzzing mosquitoes by comparison. Sabbath don't even try to be "tough" or heavy--they come across as down-to-earth, likable blokes--but their sound is inherently tougher and heavier than any wannabe "metal" band could ever hope to achieve. They invented the genre and nobody sounds or will ever sound like them.

Happily, the rain ended shortly after the set began. We had had the foresight to bring along rain gear, so we weren't too badly soaked.

Ward, Butler and Iommi were fantastic. Ozzy's vocal performance was spotty, but he's always been more of a "personality" than a singer, anyway, and you could tell he was doing his best for the audience. His enthusiasm made errors of intonation seem irrelevant. Besides, the main messenger of this music has always been that massive sound, the cohesive whole, rather than individual parts. The members seemed to be having a good time, and the audience responded in kind, even as we were being bludgeoned by the biggest guitar tone on God's green earth.

Class was in session, and the twin-headed Brummie assault showed all the kids how it was done!


From: (originally appeared here)
Subject: Headbangers debate

You know something is brewing in this country when heavy-metal bands start talking about politics.

With a war in Iraq and a presidential election simmering here at home, Ozzfest 2004 turned into something surprising: a political forum. Several artists used their stage time to either support the war or chastise President George W. Bush for starting it. Even festival founder Ozzy Osbourne stepped into the fray, showing a video comparing Bush to Hitler during Black Sabbath's "War Pigs."

Rarely have the lyrical obsessions of heavy metal - power, hatred, nihilism, Armageddon - sounded so relevant. And those themes were used by bands on both sides of the political fence.

Of course, those who craved a day of apolitical, headbanging fun got what they came for, especially when the masked members of Slipknot battered their instruments with baseball bats and the Norwegian band Dimmu Borgir ran through some old-fashioned horror-movie metal. With 20 bands playing for 13 hours, there was a strain of metal to suit nearly any taste.

Hardcore metal ruled the side stage, set up in an area of the amphitheater's main parking lot. Even as opening act Bleeding Through climbed onstage at 9:25 a.m., a time when most people probably were still digesting breakfast, hundreds of fans streamed through the gates.

The stage hosted a marathon of crunching guitars, machine-gun drums and front men with low, demonic voices. God Forbid, Darkest Hour and Unearth stuck to that formula as closely as their names might imply. Headlining act Hatebreed distinguished itself only by leading a gigantic moshing circle 50 feet from the stage. Every Time I Die, an exciting group out of Buffalo, delivered an electrifying set of frenetic, angular hardcore that even had some boogie in it.

Lacuna Coil, from Milan, struck a different chord, playing gothic rock with fading choruses and clear, sustained vocals from Cristina Scabbia. (Has Evanescence been listening to their albums, or vice-versa?) The female singer Otep - who fronts the band of the same name - tried to beat the men at their own game, making guttural barfing noises like the best of them.

As an introduction to the anti-Bush song "Warhead," Otep played a sour version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the singer used profanity when she referred to the president. Later, Lamb Of God vocalist Randy Blythe wore a T-shirt sporting Bush's face with a red line through it. Blythe also dedicated a song to him: "As the Palaces Burn."

On the main stage, the older bands generally swung right. Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society sent a message of support for American troops, along with a threat to Iraq: "You wanna run some planes into the --- World Trade Center and the --- Pentagon? You will die like the --- rest." (Perhaps Wylde hasn't read the 9/11 commission's report.)

Phil Anselmo, the former Pantera front man and now leader of Superjoint Ritual, screamed his way through "Personal Insult," which includes the lines, "A holy war you will get/you can get/jihad is a joke."

After the punishing attack of Slayer, the audience seemed ready for Judas Priest's refreshingly old-fashioned sound. The reunited band - with original members Rob Halford, bassist Ian Hill, guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, plus longtime drummer Scott Travis - ran through classics such as "Electric Eye," "Metal Gods" and "Hell Bent for Leather." Halford's high, demonic voice was in fine form, especially on a fierce rendition of "Painkiller."

But the crowd poured most of its love on Black Sabbath (also reunited, with Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward and bassist Terence "Geezer" Butler). Though Osbourne was clearly frail - he hopped rather than ran around the stage - his voice was strong and his ability to charm a crowd was undimmed. On the song "Black Sabbath," he cackled evilly - and merrily, too. By the closing song, "Paranoid," in which Iommi's guitar soared and growled marvelously, politics seemed to be happily forgotten.