GIG REVIEW: BLACK SABBATH ‘The End’ Live at Brisbane, AU
Black Sabbath have been an instrumental founding piece of the giant tapestry of metal since the bands inception. Just like the Iron Maiden’s, Metallica’s and Judas Priest’s, Black Sabbath is a name synonymous with the ‘old guard’ of metal, and as such, when a band of this stature announces their final show, it’s a matter that commands everyone’s attention. Before Brisbane got to witness the final performance of the fore fathers of modern metal, support act Rival Sons were first up to warm the already monstrous crowd up.
Now I’ll admit, I hadn’t heard of Rival Sons before they opened on the night, but their set was a perfect combination of everything that a band can do right. Although they were confined to a 45 minute set the band was able to brilliantly mould the crowd around their fusion blend of Rock n’ roll. Opening for Black Sabbath could never be an easy feat, and the fact that Rival Sons was selected to provide support for the world tour speaks more than words ever could. Their live performance tonight was nothing short of impeccable, with Vocalist Jay Buchanan never missing a note, and guitarist Scott Holiday performing some of the most eclectic riffs I can recall from recent memory. The band wrapped up after a whirlwind set and at that time, you knew that The End was coming.
The anticipation in the room was the highest I have ever felt at a show before, and from it only heightened the minute that the lights went down and the giant screen came on at the back of stage. Now don’t get me wrong, bands have been using promotional videos to herald their arrival for some time now; however, the introductory clip that Sabbath played was something that was entirely next level. The video depicted the birth of a devil before he cast destruction upon the world and at the conclusion of the video the band bounded out on stage to begin their set with ‘Black Sabbath’. There is little things that make a band like Sabbath as revered as they are, and looking around at the Brisbane fans it was little difficult to feel anything less than humbled by the profound impact that this band has had on everyone present. It’s the small details in their sound, their style and their performance which are hard to describe, that garner the appreciation that the band has built for almost half a century.
The band themselves were in arguably the best form that they have been in with Ozzy Osbourne looking as energetic as he has been in recent memory, flanked by fellow originals Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler on their respective guitar and bass, and Tommy Clufetos on drums performing one of the most vibrant solos that will be remembered for some time. The band performed the same set that has been played throughout the Australian leg of this tour with no deviation, but there was honestly no need to as the setlist covered all the classic staples that you would expect from Sabbath. The crowd went absolutely mental for songs like ‘Snowblind’, ‘War Pigs’, ‘Children of the Grave’, ‘Into the Void’ and ‘Dirty Women’.
Closing by telling the crowd “if we are going to do one more song we all need to go fucking crazy” before diving into ‘Paranoid‘ garnered the greatest reaction of the night, and as fleetingly as the band had taken the stage at the beginning of the night they departed, and the night concluded. On this night Brisbane was treated to history, not only witnessing the final Black Sabbath show in Brisbane, but also the last show in Australia ever. All those in attendance would agree that it was a fitting send off from our country for a band that has done so much to inspire so many through the music that we all love. Being present at this show was sure to give many a great sense of euphoria – but sadly all good things must come to an end, and for this fine distinguished band this was The End for their touring in Australia. It’s a show that will carry on like the band themselves and live on in our memories for some time to come.