Black Sabbath - The Gorge - WA 8/24/13
Who would've thought in the year 2013 I'd be saying Black Sabbath just achieved their first #1 Billboard charting album ("13"), they'd be touring the world as one of the biggest grossing acts or actually saying Ozzy is still singing and alive. With their crazy past it just doesn't make any sense I'm stating all this but to our joy we can say the Godfathers of Metal have tested and won against father time. With Ozzy always fighting with his addictions and Tony Iommi still fighting his lymphoma you just don't know when the Sabbath train will truly come to the end. With Geezer Butler on bass you have 3 out of the 4 original members on tour with original drummer Bill Ward never back in the band because of contractual issues. Rage Against the Machine's Brad Wilk did the drums on the new album and Tommy Clufetos (Ozzy's band) is doing the tour duties on drums. Tommy is amazing but how cool would've it been if you had the original 4 members (all in their mid 60s) playing again. I think the tour would've been even bigger than it has been, but since it didn't we'll take what we have.
Black Sabbath didn't disappoint a near capacity crowd at the Gorge with a 2-hour set that included many of the classics and new tunes off the amazing new "13" album, their first in 35 years! Check it out, it's one of my favorites of the year so far. The classic sound and vibe are still there after all these years. Check out the video for "God is Dead?"
Setlist: War Pigs/Into the Void/Under the Sun -Every Day Comes and Goes/Snowblind/Age of Reason/Black Sabbath/Behind the Wall of Sleep/N.I.B./End of the Beginning/Fairies Wear Boots/Rat Salad/Drum Solo/Iron Man/God Is Dead?/Dirty Women/Children of the Grave/Encore: Paranoid
I knew the band was gonna be a machine this night with Geezer/Iommi & the hard hitting Clufetos, but the wildcard was Ozzy who got sick towards the end of the set in Vancouver two nights before and had to cut the show short. As soon as Ozzy walked onstage I snapped my first shot of him and it was this huge smile, I knew right off the bat (no pun intended with Ozzy ha) this was gonna be a good night.
Opening with the theatric "War Pigs" there was so many good songs throughout the set, but my favorites had the be the haunting and powerful "Black Sabbath" when everyone in the crowd held up their lighters and cell phones during the intro bell blasts. That was so cool and when "Fairies Wear Boots" was played later I had my own little jamming moments in our special (what I call) crow nests section. Yes me & my wife were the only band guests up and side stage so we had our own 20x10ft platform to view down on the band and crowd. As a super long time fan and shooting the first two songs in the front pit to go from there to up here for the rest of the show was a little shocking as a long time Sabbath fan. Check out our view we had from my cell phone pic below! We saw Sharon across the way and thought maybe she'd join us but nope, it was all ours for the night.
Toni Iommi and Geezer Butler, the guitarist/bassist blue-print to every band in Heavy Metal today were so good tonight. The sound and tone were just amazing live and Ozzy was even better than his normal off-key singing this night. I mean he wasn't anywhere perfect but lets give Ozzy some credit, at 64 years old most guys wish they could even get on any stage at that age and jump around for 2 hours and do what Ozzy still does. The whole night Ozzy was having fun with the crowd and especially his band members as seen in the photo below with Ozzy & Geezer.
Overall anyone that was there I bet felt like they got their monies worths. Visially awesome stage with no fire, smoke or bombs anywhere in sight. It was all about the music tonight! I finally got to shoot Ozzy and better yet with Black Sabbath! Still pinching myself the day after!
For more Black Sabbath photos check out the gallery on KISW.com: KISW Photo Gallery and on my Facebook page for even more exclusive photos like Geezer's equipment: Savoia Photography Live
"Iron" Mike Savoia