Last night Black Sabbath came to down and destroyed Kansas City. From the bells of Black Sabbath, to fear inducing sirens leading into War Pigs, to the extended version of Paranoid, Ozzy, Geezer and Butler showed they still have enough to go out there and show the young kids how it’s done. Yes, they are all as old as my dad, and yes they could all be retired on social security. Fueled by their love of the music, a young drummer named Tommy Clufetos, and lots of hair dye, Black Sabbath blew the audience away with a tight, focused setlist of pure metal.
Favoring songs from the early 70′s, only once did they play a song written after I was born. Every song they played was a monster. The guitar crunch was unmistakably Black Sabbath. Geezer’s bass filled the void acting almost as a bass and rhythm guitar at the same time. Ozzy sang better than when I saw him five years ago, looking like he was in much better shape too. And what can I say about Clufetos? Sure it would be wonderful to see Bill Ward play, but Clufetos is monster at the kit. His playing is unbelievably powerful. He clearly spent some time learning the classic fills and nuances of Bill Ward.
It’s hard to describe why I love Black Sabbath so much. There is a kind of groove in there that is unlike anything else. They created this genre we now called heavy metal, born out of the despair and destruction of a recently bombed out Britian. Maybe for the same reason I love playing post apocalyptic video games, I love the doom and gloom of Black Sabbath. (Note, only Ozzy era Sabbath). There are plenty of sappy love songs, plenty of heartbreak songs, but not not early enough “this sucks, everything sucks, I just want to pound the wall” kind of music.
And perhaps for the only time, I got to see 3 out of 4 members of Black Sabbath come together and celebrate doom and gloom with an eclectic crowd. There were elderly people who couldn’t stand up, but were still headbanging in their seats. Kids screaming “Cocaine” during Snowblind. Women probably half our age reciting every lyric. Every age and gender was represented. I’m usually self conscious expressing anything out in public around strangers, but I couldn’t help myself. After each song, after being blown away, I was yelling out a stream of expletives describing how great the song was. Everyone there was on the same page.
I will never forget the night me and my friend Steve saw Black Sabbath destroy Kansas City. I’ll never forget the almost religious experience of being in the room when thousands of people sing Iron Man together. I’ll never forget the feel of the bass drums tapping my chest. I’ll never forget seeing The End.
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