Black Sabbath Concert Reviews
June 2, 2009

Helsinki, Finland


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


  1. Unknown


No pictures are available yet - email Joe if you have some to submit!


I was very exited to see Heaven & Hell, my all time favourite band. In June 2007 I saw them for the first time in my life, after all those years since I first heard Heaven & Hell album back in 1981. The show in 2007 was very good and now it was I eager to hear if they’d added more unheard classics in their set list. Unfortunately being a big fan did not help to hide away the fact that this time the show was disappointing in many ways.

The support band was Los Bastardos Finlandeses, a Finnish hard rock band with western/Mexican image. They played a long set, almost one hour and performed very well. Their style reminds me very much of Motörhead and Thin Lizzy and they have some good tunes, the best being definitely “My Name Is El Muerte”, a very strong and catchy hard rock song. I saw the hole set and the band made an impact on me, hope they get on well.

Finally the lights went out at 21:30 and the legends walked the stage as E5150 faded away. Mob Rules opened the set and right from the beginning it was clear there was something wrong in the sound. Bass sounded really weird and even funny, not like part of the band at all. The guitar was in the back with way too much treble and not that distinctive, murdering blast as it should have been. Drums too were way too harsh, both high end and low end and the whole thing was too loud, way too loud. I’m not the first one to complain about volume but enough is enough. The only thing that worked well throughout the gig was Dio’s voice that cut through everything very strongly. The sound did not improve as the band continued with Children Of The Sea. This absolutely crushing super song just didn’t sound right with the horrible sound, the guitar even sounded out of tune and Tony made one little mistake picking the verse riff. The third song was I from Dehumanizer and during this song the screen behind the stage started showing animations based on Mob Rules cover. The song just did not work and I must say that cheapish animations on a little screen behind the greatest heavy metal band of all times just did not look or feel right.

The band went on with Bible Black from the new album and this worked fairly well, especially the vocals by Dio being strong but sensitive and delicate. However, the bad guitar sound made those melodic solo licks sound less impressive. Flying crucifixes and that weird monster from the cover of the new record continued the not so tasty style on the screen. The next song was Time Machine from Dehumanizer and this was the lowest point of the gig, simply because the song just doesn’t fit among the classics these guys play from Mob Rules and Heaven And Hell. The screen showed something that looked like a screen saver from Windows Media Player so no improvement there either. And to complete the turnoff the band left the stage and Vinnie Appice started his drum solo, which consisted nothing impressive or new but luckily lasted only five minutes or so.

The band then came back and played Fear from the latest album and this song worked well with Dio’s good singing and Tony’s good riffing sounding like a real band playing together. They also turned the screen off for this song so there was nothing to disturb us during that song. The lights also were great and the whole stage looked brilliant.

The eighth song was then a very nice surprise, Falling Off The Edge Of The World. Guitar sound improved somewhat and the song is of course fabulous and monumental classic from Mob Rules so this was promising. Then the band went on with Follow The Tears from the new album. The song is extremely heavy even in Sabbath standards. The song anyways worked well and it’s great to hear new material live. Somebody turned the screen on again and this time there were lightning strikes in the background.

It was then time to go seriously back in business and Tony took the stage with the introduction prelude of Die Young, one of the greatest tracks they’ve done. The song was performed very well and crowds went nuts as Dio screamed die young die young die young die young die young… Impressive. The “devils on trees” stage set figures on both side of the stage breathed smoke and this was a good one despite the windows media player material on screen again.

The the band continued with what we all came to hear: Heaven & Hell started with the crowd singing the biggest riff there is and Dio continuing with that sing me a song stuff… The screen showed angel statues and crosses and of course there was a very long guitar solo by Tony. Maybe too long since during that solo the intensity of the performance and song disappears while everybody’s just waiting for the grande finale that comes later. Maybe the best of the song could be taken out with a little less effort.

The band left the stage then at 22:50 only to come back a couple of minutes later. It was absolutely great to hear Tony playing Country Girl’s riff but unfortunately they did only the first verse of the song. Please guys include that song in your set during your next tour, ok? They continued then directly with Neon Knights and it was fantastic to listen to Tony playing the solo of that song, one of the best metal guitar solos ever written in my opinion. Dio couldn’t sing those “Bloody angels fast descending…” etc. parts high enough so he did them a bit lower.

Finally the band thanked the audience and left the stage at 23:05. It’s always great to see those living legends and real kings of heavy metal live and this time was no exception. Anyways, the fact this time was that even the legends and their road crew are not perfect. Sound problems and maybe a little bit too much routine not to mention the below the bar screen made it less impressive this time. The guys came to Finland from Russia, maybe they just had had too much vodka there, who knows. Anyways, if they’ll keep on going I’ll be there next time around too, that’s for sure.

Posted by: Adam Author Profile Page at June 4, 2009 5:33 AM

The second time seeing Heaven & Hell was just as every bit exciting to me as the first time. Knowing that these guys are all living legends of heavy metal after all. And they didn't dissapoint. When E5150 started it was very emotiona thing, not to mention when Tony stepped out with the pounding riff of The Mob Rules.

I was on Tony's side and watching him play the intro to Children Of The Sea less than 30 feet away from me was almost surreal, and it brought a tear to my eye again...Last time I was sitting rather far away from the stage, so being this close to the greatest guitar player in the world (as Ronnie likes to introduce him, and who am I to argue) was probably one of the greatest moments in my life.

Geezer's bass was mixed rather loud, since it was clearly audible even being on Tony's side, so in most places it must have been too loud. But I really have no complaints. The Finnish crowd on the other hand was rather quiet for some reason, Ronnie even pointed that out after the Drum Solo.

The set list was:
1. Intro = E5150
2. The Mob Rules
3. Children Of The Sea
4. I
5. Bible Black
6. Time Machine
7. Drum Solo
8. Fear
9. Falling Off The Edge Of The World
10. Follow The Tears
11. Die Young w/ Guitar Solo Intro
12. Heaven And Hell
13. Country Girl (Only A Part of)
14. Neon Knights

The absolute highlights for me were Children Of The Sea, Bible Black, Time Machine (Great to finally see this one), Follow The Tears (The crowd actually woke up during this song, especially the intro we yelled our asses off), Heaven And Hell and the long solo, I could have watched Tony soloing for another 10 minutes as well easily. He just is that good. And then ofcourse the little Country Girl teaser, and that also really got the crowd going again!
They should really play the whole song its a great number with a monster riff!

We had some very interesting material on the back screen as well, which I enjoyed very much, especially the Mob characters, the dehumanizer and the Satan from the new album art. Also the smoke breathing gargoyles were awesome, I'd like to get one to put in my backyard!

Ronnie keeps amazing me everytime with his incredible vocal talents...I mean seriously he is inhuman. Not really a single missed note...And Tony, well he is the greatest guitar player in the world...Geezer was bit far away from me so I couldn't really see him that well, but I did hear him pounding away like crazy, as usual. Vinnie was stellar behind the drum kit and I really enjoyed his solo as does belong to a (I will say it..) Black Sabbath concert, just as the long jam section...

It was indeed a night that I will remember for as long as I'll live. This might very well have been the last tie I'll ever see them, so that too made it all so much more special.

Posted by: Turo Taimen at June 19, 2009 9:08 AM

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?