Black Sabbath Concert Reviews
August 5, 2004
Smirnoff Music Center
Dallas, TX


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


  • Intro Tape (montage of old Sabbath audio) & Supertzar
  • War Pigs
  • N.I.B. (minus Basically)
  • Fairies Wear Boots
  • Into the Void
  • Band Intros by Ozzy
  • Black Sabbath
  • Snowblind
  • Iron Man
  • Children of the Grave
  • Paranoid (w/ Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Intro)


You can view the photo gallery for this concert here.


From: "Joe Siegler" <>
Subject: Sabbath Concert Review - August 5, 2004 - Dallas TX
Date sent: Fri, 06 Aug 2004 17:53:48 -0500

Well, last night in the heat of Dallas I saw Black Sabbath.  Again.  I've seen them now a total of 10 times (once each with Ian Gillan, Ray Gillen, Ronnie Dio, three times with Tony Martin, and now four with Ozzy (all in 97 onwards, none from the 70's).  To be honest, going into this show, I have to admit the only reason I attended Ozzfest 2004 was for two reasons.  First was Judas Priest.  I've seen Priest with Halford twice already (back in 1984 and 1986).  However, seeing Priest again was definitely the attraction for me, as I haven't seen 'em in awhile.  The second reason was that I got my tickets comped because of my connection running this site.  Would I have gone if I had to pay?  I don't know, but I think part of that comes from the fact that I've seen them several times before.  Running this website, and seeing them as many times as I have, I've seen them play Iron Man / War Pigs / Paranoid numerous times, and to be honest, I don't need to see that anymore.  I did skip Ozzfest 2001 for that reason (of course they go and play a NEW song during Ozzfest 2001, so I got burnt on that one).   However, that's not to say Sabbath wasn't great.  They were.  But more on that in a bit.

I went with a long time friend (who makes home brew beer, and had an odd but good Chipotle Pepper Beer with him to sample), and we got there around 6:20 or so.  After sitting in my truck and drinking some of his beer, we headed in.  First thing we did was peruse the outer area, checked out the insane prices for concert shirts ($35 for a T-Shirt? Pass), as well as the offerings and other concert goers.  I'll be 39 in two weeks.  I have to say this.  As I've gotten older, and the bands I've followed for a long time have also gotten older, so have the audiences in general.  There were some kids there, but for the most part, this Ozzfest seemed to generally be older.  And therein lies the rub.  Folks who have been going to concerts who are around my age should dress like their age.  I probably was the most normally dressed person there - just sneakers, blue jeans, and a green T-shirt with nothing printed on it.  There's nothing sadder than an older concert goer still dressing like they did when they were 20.  Particularly if they're female.  It's not that older women can't look good, it's just that your average concert going metal female who is dressing the same way they did when they were 18 don't look that way.  I mean, there were a few I saw that were positively revolting.  The worst example was a women who looked like she weighed about 275 pounds wearing what amounted to a French bikini.  Positively nasty.  These kind of people need a mind reboot.  My friend who was with me was saying "Uh, I did NOT need to see that". 

However, on the more positive side, there seemed to be more boobs on display than in years gone by.  There's always been a willing supply of females willing to let the world see what their tits look like at these shows, and this one was no different.  In fact, the display of breasts seemed more organized, with a "Body Painting" booth.  Apparently, women could go in there, get topless, and get their fronts painted, and walk around that way.  As a guy, it's always nice to see boobs on display - in fact, I don't think there was any female with this body painting that I could describe as bad, so that was good.  However, I wonder about the legality of this.  Not that I mind the display, but given that Ozzfest is sponsoring a body painting booth (at least it appeared to me they were, as it was inside the concert area), is it legal for women to walk around essentially topless?  Again, I don't care, more boobs on display is a GOOD thing.  Just curious.

Anyway, about the show.  As I said earlier, my friend and I got there in the middle of Slayer's set, neither of us had any particular interest in seeing.  I only know one Slayer song anyway (Seasons in the Abyss), so we just people watched for a bit more.  Decided against drinking the beer on sale (upwards of $10.50 for one 24oz can).   As you see here (if you're reading this on the web, and not in the newsletter), I was given a backstage pass by my contact who hooked me up with tickets.  We headed on over to where we believed the area was, and found an usher who told us to hang out where we were standing.  We were told to look for a guy in a black shirt that had "Supervisor" on his back.  So we found him, and asked him about it.  We then got all kinds of badass looks and remarks from the first guy, who appeared to be one of those people who wanted to be a cop, and couldn't, so he can push people around in concerts.  I decided I didn't want to deal with that crap, so we headed to the stage to watch Judas Priest.  If I was 20, I might have stayed, and waited, or at least made myself more noticeable so I'd actually get to use the pass, but I'm not 20, and I don't care to fight that battle, so I just went and watched the shows.  Which is what this is all supposed to be about, anyway.

By the time we got back to the stage, Judas Priest came on within a few minutes.  As I said above, I'd seen Priest twice before with Halford (in 84 & 86), and the 2004 rendition was just as great as I remembered it back then.  I longer set list would have been greater, but what we got friggin kicked ass.  Here's the Judas Priest set list (pretty much what's been played elsewhere):

  • The Hellion / Electric Eye
  • Metal Gods
  • Heading out to the Highway
  • A Touch of Evil
  • The Sentinel
  • Victim of Changes
  • Breaking the Law
  • Beyond the Realms of Death
  • Green Manalishi with the Two Pronged Crown
  • Painkiller
  • Hell Bent for Leather (first encore)
  • Living After Midnight
  • You've Got Another Thing Coming

Rob Halford is now 53, and I have to say, he can still wail.  That's always been Rob's strong point, and I wasn't sure how well his voice would hold up.  I shouldn't have been worried.  He missed a note here and there, but then again no one's perfect, that didn't seem to be because of his vocal strength.  Apologies to Tim Owens, but Judas Priest is back.  It's as if they were still on the Painkiller tour from 1990.   Priest has always been one of those bands for me where the band was always "there".  I know the members names, but I think for most people, the fixation with Priest is the sound and Rob Halford.  KK Downing, Glenn Tipton, Ian Hill, and Scott Travis make one hell of a noise, but Priest for me has always been about the vocals.  Having said that, the band was really tight and powerful.  Halford wore his traditional full leather outfit (shown here in a pic on, and I cannot imagine it was very comfortable for him.  It was a typical Texas summer night - about 95 degrees - probably warmer up by the stage because of all the people in the place.  But he never showed it, he performed without giving up any indication that he was hot or uncomfortable.  He had to have lost 10 pounds in this show with that outfit. :)   One moment I did like was during the opening of Breaking the Law, Rob along with KK, Glenn, & Ian all stood next to each other, and from where I was, it looked like they were playing each other's guitars.  It appeared that Rob was strumming KK's, and KK was on Glenn's, etc.  I don't know if that was really the case, but when the song hit vocals, they played their own stuff - a cool little moment.

I wished we could have had a longer set, but that's a negative to festival gigs like this.  As it is, Priest played longer than Black Sabbath anyway, and Sabbath was the headliner.  Judas Priest's new album comes out on December 28th - I was hoping for one song from the new one here, but we didn't get that.  Anyway, the word is that Judas Priest will be back out in 2005 to support that album on their own, so hopefully we'll get a full length show from Priest.  If they do that, bet your ass I'll be there.

After Priest played, I decided to just sit in my chair, as my body doesn't take long periods of standing up as well as it used to.  What did surprise me is how quickly the sets got changed out.  Usually, it's longer than that, but the changeout from Judas Priest (who had a stage set) to Black Sabbath was less than 20 minutes.  Wish it could be that quick on standard concerts - it always seems to be longer that way. 

So I'm sitting there saying to my friend "I wonder how long it will take into the gig before Ozzy goes "I can't fuckin' hear you".  Well, I got my wish before the gig even started!  During the set breakdown of Priest, they pulled a large curtain in front of the stage.  Couldn't see anything directly, but at the angle I was at over the left I could see behind the curtain, and saw a little of it, them moving Bill's drum kit into position, but in the Dallas show, there was no intro video.  We did have the intro audio montage of Sabbath clips.  There just was no video with it, as was reported as being there in some of the earlier gigs.  We got to listen to the montage, and then at the end of the montage, we got the usual Sabbath intro song, Supertzar.  During that, the curtain was backlighted, and we saw the guys standing there behind the curtain.   We then got the intro to War Pigs started, and a roadie pulled the curtain away, so we could see the Sabs.   Here's the full set list from Dallas:

  • Intro Tape (montage of old Sabbath audio) & Supertzar
  • War Pigs
  • N.I.B. (minus Basically)
  • Fairies Wear Boots
  • Into the Void
  • Band Intros by Ozzy
  • Black Sabbath
  • Snowblind
  • Iron Man
  • Children of the Grave
  • Paranoid (w/ Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Intro)

My Black Sabbath Backstage PassAs has been said by a lot of other reviews I've already posted for this tour, the set list is well..  boring.  At least for me.  Is there anything "wrong" with it?  No - the songs are awesome.  There's no dissing Sabbath's songs.  However, I've seen Black Sabbath ten times, and I have to say, there really needs to be variety in the set list.  I suppose if you've never seen Black Sabbath before, this is OK, but I"d say the majority of the people attending a Black Sabbath concert have seen them before.  It's for these people that the set list needs to be changed.  Outside of Ozzy's time in the band, there have been 10 other studio albums.  But OK, I'm resigned to the fact that Sabbath with Ozzy won't do those.  But there's still a total of 8 studio albums with Ozzy, and they didn't play anything past the first four.  In fact, a breakdown shows they had two from the first album, four from the second, two from the third, and one from the fourth.  Now again, I know in a festival setting, it's a short set list, but there's got to be a way to break it up a bit.  I mean, you could replace Snowblind with Symptom of the Universe.  They could actually PLAY Sabbath Bloody Sabbath instead of teasing the crowd with the intro.  Hell, they did Dirty Women in the 1999 Ozzfest shows.  For some reason, they choose to totally ignore the Never Say Die album, which is a shame (I'd absolutely love it if I could hear Johnny Blade live).  But enough about the set list.  It needs to be changed.  Go do a proper tour, where you're the actual headliner, not a festival, that way we could get a properly expanded set list.

One other thing I have a reputation for is that I prefer the non Ozzy Sabbath years to the Ozzy stuff.  I've seen Sabbath with Ozzy four times now since they got back together, and some of the past performances from Ozzy have been dodgy.  Not this time.  Ozzfest 2004 was by far the best shape I've seen Ozzy in, both physically and vocally.  His voice was strong, it didn't break, and he didn't seem as worn down as I'd seen him before.  As much as I've taken shots at him over the years for this, I have to give Ozzy props - this was by far the best I'd ever seen him.  Especially right after his accident on the bike (I know it's not a bike, but I can't think of the proper name at the moment).  Thumbs up to him.  Of all the guys who have handled the microphone for Black Sabbath (there's been 8 official ones), none of them could work a crowd like Ozzy Osbourne.  He is a perfect showman.  He's not the best technical singer the band's had, but dammit - he knows how to work a room, and that's what a frontman should do.  Get the crowd going, and dammit, Oz knows how.

The rest of the band was spectacular as usual.  Tony, Bill, & Geezer make one hell of a noise.  And it sounds great.  In fact, it was so great, I almost don't know what justice I can do to it by writing about it here.  Just take my word for it.  It sounded perfect.   Tony even added a lick to Paranoid that I hadn't heard before.  Given I've heard these songs more times than I can count, I recognize any change, and that was a nice changeup, hearing a different lick.

If you haven't seen Black Sabbath before, you're in for a treat!  The band is awesome, Ozzy doesn't appear to have any health problems, and you get all of Black Sabbath's biggest hits.  If you're reading this and haven't yet seen Ozzfest, and you're able to go - go.  You'll love it.

From: gerald.b.labarrere
Subject: Ozzfest 2004 Tour Stuff
Date sent: Fri, 6 Aug 2004 21:02:24 -0500

Just returned home to New Orleans (Chalmette acturally, just outside of N.O.) from the Ozzfest in Dallas, Texas. Wanted to share with you my experience. First of all let me say that I really love your site although I've never written to it before. I'm 54 and have been a fan of Black Sabbath since the beginning. I saw them on their first tour at a place called the Warehouse here in New Orleans. It was just an old coffee warehouse in which they built a stage and threw some old carpet samples on the floor. If you ever saw it in the daytime you'd run away, but I tell you I saw some of the truly great bands play some amazing concerts there. Anyway, Sabbath has been my favorite band ever since. Their reunion tour in 1999 was awesome. They were like a fine wine, just better with age. They were tight to the max, and Iommi was magical. I saw them 4 times that year; twice in Dallas, once in San Bernerdino, CA (there were 50,000 people at an outdoor amphitheater....WOW!!), and once in Biloxi, Mississippi. All four shows were great. I thought for sure they would record another album together and tour again in the near future, but of course they did not....until this years Ozzfest.

So before I get to my "review" of thier show, let me tell you a little about Ozzfest itself. First of all it was a bright sunny day and the heat index was 110 degrees F. Now Ozzfest starts at 9AM and runs all day ending with Sabbath which was around 10:30 PM. So it stands to reason that you probably would not want to be there all day. Perhaps you'd come a while and shop at the many booths, see a band you like, go back to the hotel or your pad and rest awhile, and return fresh for some other bands you might like, right? WRONG!! Once you were in the place you couldn't leave and come back in....NO RE-ENTRY! On top of that you could only bring in one container or ice chest...NO BLANKETS....NO UNBRELLAS...NO FUCKING NOTHING!! So if you planned to see a band you liked in the morning, you had to stay all day. Shade was extremely limited, bringing me to the refreshments. Water....$4.50 Beer 12oz.....$6.50; 16oz.....$7.50; 20oz.....$8.50.....Food even more rediculous! What a fucking ripoff!!! Another example....I wanted an Ozzfest T-Shirt.....$35; so I didn't get it. However, when I was walking out at the end of the night they were selling the exact same T-Shirts outside of the fest for $10 apiece...I bought 2 of them. I tell you Joe, I'll never go to another event like that no matter who is playing. We got there at 3PM and for the most part hated it until Judas Priest came on.

O.K., to the music. All the bands I heard leading up to the Priest were absolutely aweful! All you could hear was extreme bass, both from the bass guitar and the bass drums, and the singer screaming and groaning in that devil type voice. All the songs sounded the same; pure-d trash. I feel sorry for the youth of today. Their bands have no talent and the music, if you could call it that, is terrible. Anyway, the Priest finally came on. Now I am not a real fan of that group, but I tell you it was a pleasure to hear some real musicians play. On top of that the mixing was just about perfect. You could hear each instrument without any one overbearing on the rest of them. I'm not even familiar with most of their songs, but the musicianship was great. The singers voice was the same as it was 20 years ago. The did a 2 song oncore and then the wait was just about over.

Before Sabbath came on they played a compilation of songs from the past with various pictures flashing on the hugh monitors and Ozzy screaming out Come On and Alright over the PA. Then they did a short air raid siren and went into War Pigs, followed by NIB, Fairies Wear Boots, and then Black Sabbath, but without the burning torches around the stage as in the past. Then came Snowblind followed by Children of the Grave which was the end of the regular show. The oncore was Paranoid with a Sabbath Bloody Sabbath intro. As a guitar player I am and always will be in awe of Tony Iommi. He is simply the best and my idol; and it is always a privilage and honor to watch and listen to him play. Hell, my wife and I drove 535 miles to Dallas to Black Sabbath and I had to get up at 5AM the following morning to drive back to be at work on the night shift....which is where I am at this very moment typing this to you. But what I couldn' t help but notice is that this show was hastily put together and the band did not practice very much for it. I mean they are all great musicians and can play a show with little or no practice, and it showed. Tony improvised more than usual and it didn't always fit so well. I doubt if very many people even noticed, but being a long time fan and a musician myself I could see it. Still it was a great show and I'm really glad I saw it because I don't know if I'll ever see them again; and practice or not, Tony is the best and I love to see him play. What was well done was the video of war and other things on the monitors; it fit the music so well. Guess that's about it. Your site is the best man, keep it going. Rock on Brother, Gerald LaBarrere Chalmette, Louisiana, USA


From: "Rogelio Matamoros"
Subject: Ozzfest in Dallas and San Antonio
Date sent: Sun, 08 Aug 2004 20:28:20 -0500

Hello Joe. This is maybe the fifth mail that i've send to the list and I hope that this will get some attention. And also I'm sending a couple of photos from the show in Dallas, shoot by a friend of mine also from Mexico.

Well, I think that I can offer a couple of diferent vissions about the show since I was in Dallas at the pit and in the first seats section in San Antonio. First of all even when out there would be somebody interested in all the bands that played at the main stage, I think that there's an evident difference from Black Label Society, Super Joint Ritual and Dimmu Borgir to Slayer, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. In my opinion the first three bands are mere openers for the big show. And please their fans of those bands don't missunderstood my words, but the reality is that they don't have the historic factor and neither the musical level of Slayer and much less than Judas Priest and the mighty Black Sabbath.

The set lists of all the bands were pretty much the same that all the reviews have mentioned, and to start I have to say that in Dallas I was at the pit, right at the front, so the quality of the sound usually is not the best because you listen directly to the backline of the bands. So with Slayer I listen to the guitar of Kerry King more than anything else. But I can say that Slayer technically cannot play a bad concert, because they're simply an acurate and absolute killing music machine. And Dave Lombardo, the drummer, is a separate show himself.

Judas priest are enjoying some privileges that none other band have had playing at the Ozzfest without being Ozzy or Sabbath, but they deseve it without any doubt. They're playing the same time, and maybe a little bit more, than Sabbath, and they have the more spectacular stage show of the night. And the spectation about the return of Rob Halford it's being an important factor in the succes of this edition of this Ozzfest. Even when I feel that his voice went from minus to more at the show, at the moment of "Victim of Changes" the power coming from his throath inminently runs inside your veins. And nothing to say about those legendary solos from GlennTipton and K.K. Downinng and their historic twin harmonies.

But the moment for Black Sabbath to take the stage had arrive and they done it in a very shockig way. First of all that big courtain with seven devil logos looks spectacular, and the desicion to use "Supertzar" for the intro give the creeps trough my spine. And again I have to say that maybe this time I was not at a Black Sabbath concert but a Tony Iommi concert. Because being right in front of him is innevitable to verify that he is, and always have been, Black Sabbath. Even when gezzer Butler wrote almost all the lirycs of the songs played this night, you have to remember that Iommi has been Black Sabbath with Dio, Gillan, Martin and Halford. But to think of a Black Sabbath with, I don't know, maybe Randy Rhoads, Blackmore or Zakk Wylde is like a sacrilege.

If somebody reading this was at the show, let me tell you that I was the guy showing the message of "IOMMI IS NOT GOD... IS THE DEVIL" to the band, specially (of course) to Iommi and Ozzy, receiving from the "Riff Master General" a couple of picks during the show and an unforgetable smile from both of them.

In San Antonio I was at the first numbered seats section, so this time I enjoy the show musically. But unfortunatelly the acoustic of the Amphitheater is not the best for this kind of shows, so with Slayer and Judas Priest the volume of the guitars was so low. But with Sabbath this condition change and I can check the incredible counterpart that Geezer Butler is for Iommi. His sound is just amazing and I checked that hi is not using his Vigier basses anymore. This time he played one that loocks like a Fender but I didn't see very well the brand. And By the way, Iommi use just two guitars. A Gibson "Tony Iommi" SG and the very old SG with the white picks sticked to the plate. Bill Ward was amazing, keeping his amazing jazzy stile surrounded in his majestic white drum set. And about Ozzy I don't have so much to say that nobody knows. He sings out of tune very often, so he uses a plenty of effects. He lost his cue in a couple of songs and the security stage manager would never forget Ozzy and his b

In my oppinion this have been the best Ozzfest of the history because of the three top bands at the main stage and it's a shame tha this tour don't get to more places, in special Mexico and SouthAmerica, countries in which Heavy Rock have so much tradition.

Rogelio Matamoros.