Under a full moon by the beach, the stage of Nikon Theater at Jones Beach in Long Island, N.Y., sits on the water and it was the perfect setting for Black Sabbath to kick off the last leg of their final North American tour. Fans packed into the theater on Wednesday night (Aug. 17) to hear some generational anthems live for the last time.
This pioneering band began with the dooming and haunting “Black Sabbath,” the song that set the tone for the next 40-plus years of heavy metal, and fans relished in shouting out the parts where Ozzy Osbourne dramatically wails, “Oh no, no please God help me!” Things kicked into high gear as they went straight into “Fairies Wear Boots” and Geezer Butler’s deep bass lines and Tony Iommi‘s blistering riffs created a rumbling sonic aura all around. Ozzy even tossed a bucket of water to drench part of the front row as he clapped, stomped and ran from one side of the stage to the next.
“War Pigs” was a call and response between Ozzy and the crowd when he shouted “Generals gathered in their masses,” the fans shouted out “Just like witches at black masses!” with such vigor. Ozzy, who sounded impeccable, delivered Sabbath gems such as “After Forever,” “Into the Void,” “Hand of Doom,” “Behind the Wall of Sleep” and “Dirty Women.” At 67 years old, he still has his chops and can still command a crowd of thousands with a simple F-word or two in between songs. With an incredible bass intro by Butler, you can’t help but to sing, “Your love for me has just got to be real / Before you know the way I’m going to feel / I’m going to feel / I’m going to feel” and that infamous “Oh yeah” that follows it right after in the addictively psychedelic “N.I.B.”
Although many diehards miss Bill Ward behind the drum set, drummer Tommy Clufetos played his heart out and did justice to each Black Sabbath song that everyone knows and loves. His drum solo during “Rat Salad” was a long and forceful one, so much so that the video on the screens couldn’t handle it and cut out for a bit. While the screens recovered, “Iron Man” filled the skies of the open theater at Jones Beach. Towards the end of the night, Black Sabbath cranked out “Children of the Grave” and then walked off the stage, teasing fans that if they were loud enough the band might play one more. As everyone chanted “Black Sabbath!” and “One More Song!” hasty guitar riffs started the Prince of Darkness sang, “Finished with my woman ’cause she couldn’t help me with my mind / People think I’m insane because I am frowning all the time,” but Ozzy was all smiles the whole night and even during the set-ending “Paranoid.”
It was a very bittersweet concert for fans, knowing they’d seen the godfathers of metal play their town for the last time, but basking in the experience throughout the night. Check out a list of Black Sabbath’s remaining tour dates here.