Black Sabbath Concert Reviews
October 6, 2007
Verizon Amphitheatre
Irvine, CA


  • Ronnie James Dio - Vocals
  • Tony Iommi - Guitar
  • Geezer Butler - Bass
  • Vinny Appice - Drums
  • Scott Warren - Keyboards


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from Eric Goldberg <>
date Wed, Oct 10, 2007 at 10:23 PM
subject Review of Irvine, CA on 10/6/2007


I was fortunate enough to see Black Sabbath Heaven and Hell on their last US show at Irvine, CA on October 6, 2007. Having seen this leg of the tour twice already, I wasn't too upset that I missed half of Queensryche's set. Cooper was great. I love his band, and I could watch Eric Singer for hours. I did take pictures and will be sending them as soon as they are sent to me, as I did not use my own camera this night.

When the lights dimmed a final time and E5150 began to play over the PA, the crowd went wild , and everyone seemed to feel the electricity in the amphitheater. Being southern California, the theater had no roof, unlike the theaters I normally attend in the Northeast.

Mob Rules opened the set, which as noted elsewhere has become shorter since the Spring dates of the tour. Geezer was on fire right from the start, lifting his bass in the air while playing. He had been reserving this move for the last few seconds of Neon Knights, but tonight he opted to start the show with it as well. While he didn't lift the bass much for the rest of the show (until the end as usual), he was deeply immersed in the music, and his fingers were flailing madly, almost wildly, throughout the night.

Children of the Sea was next, and Tony's sound on both the clean and distorted parts was perfect. In your face without being too loud; full and heavy with just enough upper and lower tones.

I is always a welcome part of the set with its fast moving riff which jumps out of the speakers live in a way that the original recording only hints. Usually only the "die-hard" fans appreciate this; perhaps there were people there who did not own Dehumanizer? Say it ain't so!

They bring the pace but not the energy down for Sign of the Souther Cross, a perennial crowd pleaser. With the shorter set, they manage to keep in some of the nuggets that the fans really appreciate. This was one of them. The way Geezer uses his finger as a pick up play both the up and down strokes without losing time still continues to impress me. Vinny did some nice work in the solo playing off Tony's seemingly effortless handiwork.

Voodoo, more upbeat than the original but not as fast as on Live Evil, found Vinny syncopating nicely in the solo. He and Tony were locked together all night long, though perhaps never more clearly than this point. Tony seemed to make a rare mistake during one of the solos, but he then made it right somehow with the next few phrases: he is truly a maestro.

Vinny's drum solo followed, complete with using one drum stick to raise the pitch of a tom while he hit it with the other stick, turning around with his back to the audience to play the rear part of his kit, and playing along with Scott Warren's music building to a crescendo. I'm not a fan of the drum solo as an art form in general, as I would usually prefer to hear another complete song, but Vinny's solo is really an instrumental song.

Computer God, while I like it, was probably the weak moment of the set. Audience participation, while still energetic, was at a low at this point. I'm personally glad it's in the set, but...there were other songs I might have also liked to have heard. Enough (or too much) said on that.

The rest of the set is a musical rollercoaster of energy, but the audience supplemented their energy while the music was more sedate. Falling off the Edge of the World with it's subdued introduction and plodding mid-section were enjoyed with anticipation of the explosion that was to follow. Like a wild cat released from a cage, the song exploded into the night air with the screams of the crowd as the song was unleashed by Tony's mad riffing onto the willing and eager audience.

When Ronnie introduced Die Young and Tony began the introduction over Scott Warren's keyboards, there was anticipation for this beloved gem. The guitar introduction started quietly but quickly became a soulful and then manic torrent of notes. This is another crowd favorite. Going into the quiet chorus section with the 5 punches of notes has always been the point in the show that the band is at their least tight, and this night was no exception, but I would never suggest that this be removed from the set. It remains one of the highlights for me.

The odyssey that is Heaven and Hell closes the regular set with its long musical jam that rises and falls with the force of the tides. Each night I have seen this tour, this song has been a little different. Tonight was a wonderful journey full of power and energy, which clearly demonstrated how well these four individual musicians have come together and developed again into a tight unit, listening to and playing off of one another.

After the song, the band left the stage. Instead of their returning to the stage, a woman appeared and introduced herself as Full Metal Jackie. She mentioned that this was the last night of this US tour and that the new Live at Radio City Music Hall disc had just gone gold, so she was there with the honor of making the presentation to the band who then returned to the stage to accept the awards. I believe they were genuinely surprised that this presentation was made in this public forum. I certainly was. After handing the framed discs to the crew on the wings, the band ripped into a blistering version of Neon Knights: a high energy closer that never fails.

I was fortunate enough to see this band 6 times this year, including the first US date in NYC that became the live DVD and CD that just went gold, and tonight, their last US show on the second leg of the tour, which may prove to be the last time that these four men ever perform together on US soil. This was a great year to be a Black Sabbath fan, and I took full advantage of that opportunity, and enjoyed it to the fullest.

Thank you,

Eric Goldberg