Black Sabbath Concert Reviews
April 26, 2009

Van Nuys, CA

NOTE: This was a private, invite only "rehearsal" gig. The band played just four songs, and the majority of the audience was record label people.


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


  1. Bible Black
  2. Fear
  3. Follow the Tears
  4. Time Machine

Click here to view photos from this concert!


From: p4warrior @ Black Sabbath forums....

Just got home from Heaven & Hell playing a "rehearsal showcase" in Van Nuys. It was kind of secretive beforehand, so no one could say anything, but it was flippin awesome. I stood front and center, about 8 feet from Dio, at eye level (well I'm about a foot taller than him, but still...) Setlist was as follows:

Bible Black
Follow the Tears
Time Machine

The power was raw, everyone was on game and energetic, and Dio was singing like the Rainbow days. I was blown away. Pics forthcoming.

No more than about 50 people there; it was raw and LOUD. This tour is gonna be awesome.

Also got to shake hands with the whole band, got sigs on a sweet metallic The Devil You Know poster they handed out.

Ronnie's voice was GREAT. I can't emphasize that enough. It was very pure, the high parts on Fear and the beginning of Bible Black were shocking. I've never heard him live before, so that was incredible.

Tony was perfect. Again, I've never seen them live (other than DVD), so I can't speak to his previous performances, but he was pretty laid back but powerful. He is just so professional and classy on stage (unlike some of the "nu" metal guys), strolling up near the crowd so they could get a better view during his solos. I was amazed at the sheer power and volume he could get out of that guitar, even playing riffs on just one string.

Geezer was probably my personal highlight. Again, like Iommi, the man just exudes class and sophistication. None of the goofy jumping around, just very precise (but not blackmore-boring) and having a good time. I'm a bassist myself, so although I wanted to watch the other members, probably 50% of the time my eyes were trying to keep up with his fingers. His new riffs are great, and he really carried bible black, especially through the solo. In fact, we could hear them warming that song up while outside, 50 yards away through concrete walls. Geezer was loud.

I have a new appreciation for Vinny's drumming after seeing them live. I know sometimes he gets a bad rap as a "square" drumming caveman, but he was a real powerhouse. He really carried the builds/crescendos in songs like Bible Black and Follow the Tears. A less powerful or more "technique"- driven drummer probably would have lost some of that power.

Fear has a powerhouse riff and Dio's finishing chorus line FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAR sent shivers down my spine. It doesn't quite have a proper chorus even, but just a two line stanza that is repeated a few times in the song, ending with said FEAR line. Vinny's drumming is very cool too, intertwines perfectly with the guitar/bass segments. I don't know why, but the whole time they played this song I just had a big grin on my face.

The vocals probably aren't as edgy or dynamic as something like Bible Black or Follow the Tears, but they worked really well. I like the one on the record, so I guess that may also be why i liked it live.

Posted by: Joe Siegler Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 8:27 PM

From: Bret6262 @ Black Sabbath Forums...

It was a great time in Van Nuys, CA ! My friend was lucky to win and I was a guest. tha hall was small, concert smoky, dark- and the band wasted no time coming out and rocking us all!.... we also got to talk to them both before the event, as well as after- where they set up at a table and signed away for everyone... even at the end of this some of the guys stuck around and talked to the fans out back even more...

Posted by: Joe Siegler Author Profile Page at May 4, 2009 8:35 PM

Post a concert review

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?