Black Sabbath at Jiffy Lube Live

I’ve been to literally hundreds of concerts through the years but there has always been something special to me about seeing Black Sabbath play live. When the band’s final tour, dubbed “The End,” came to Jiffy Lube Live on Sunday, August 21st it would be the last time they would play in the greater Washington DC area. Black Sabbath are the fathers of the metal genre and my favorite band, but they’re also so much more than that. They’re one of the few bands that every time they play, no matter how many other people are there, no matter how close or far I am from the stage, I always feel like they’re playing just for me. They’re the reason I am a metal head today, and probably the reason a lot of you are too.

I have a lot of memories seeing Black Sabbath play Jiffy Lube Live (formerly named Nissan Pavilion) in the past. The original Reunion Tour, when Ozzy Osbourne rejoined Black Sabbath again, which I never thought would actually happen, started its US leg there back in 1997. That’s right, we were the first in the US to see Black Sabbath on the Reunion tour. That was one of the early Ozzfests and I got my first tattoo at that concert to commemorate the event, the letters O-Z-Z-Y on my left hand knuckles. Ozzy played a solo set with his band and then came out and did a full set with Black Sabbath right after, I’ll never forget it. The only original Black Sabbath member missing from that tour was drummer Bill Ward on drums, he was tied up with other touring commitments at the time. Ward did complete the original line up when he performed with the band in 1999 when Black Sabbath again headlined Ozzfest, a farewell tour the band called The Last Supper Tour. Despite this they came back to play for us at Jiffy Lube Live/Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, Virginia, again in 2001, 2004 and 2005. Black Sabbath was forced to change their name to Heaven And Hell when the late Ronnie James Dio returned on vocals, and this version of the band also played here in 2008 on the Metal Masters Tour. When Black Sabbath released their album 13 in 2013, their first studio album with Ozzy on vocals since 1978, they toured to support the album and again played Jiffy Lube Live. Now, on another final tour (which, judging by their ages, seems pretty likely to actually be their last this time), Black Sabbath once again played for us.

It rained earlier in the day but it let up in time for the tailgaters to start pre gaming in the parking lot. I missed the opening band, Rival Sons, because they weren’t even a metal band and really shouldn’t have been on the bill to begin with. At the end of their set I did hear them thank “Bristow,” I guess not realizing that very few people at the venue were actually from Bristow. When Black Sabbath finally took the stage around 8:45pm I was excited. Hell, who isn’t excited when their favorite band plays? The short intro video ended and that iconic opening riff to the song “Black Sabbath” immediately demanded everyone’s attention. I had pretty decent seats, in section 102 on the aisle on the Tony Iommi side. Not lower orchestra but still I had a pretty good view and I was right by the sound board. They played a great set of older classics, though they left some big ones off. No “Sweet Leaf,” no “Supernaut,” no “Electric Funeral” (despite the Shepard Fairey designed tour poster heavily quoting and referencing that song, I still bought one for $40 anyways). Nothing at all from the albums Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Sabotage. Most surprisingly, their set list didn’t include even a single song from 13. They did play a few songs that weren’t really hits such as “Dirty Women,” “After Forever” and “Behind The Wall Of Sleep” (including the Wasp intro). Every song on the set list besides “Dirty Women” came from the first four albums but it didn’t really matter what songs they played, the riffs just keep coming with Sabbath.

The band doesn’t have the energy on stage that they used to of course. Even when Ozzy played those back to back sets in 1997 (was it really almost 20 years ago?!?!) he had more energy on stage than he does now. He had trouble singing in key Sunday night and even flubbed a few lines here and there, most glaringly missing the classic “I am iron man” line at the start of “Iron Man.” The video monitors had a slight delay, and half the time they used so many psychedelic effects you could hardly tell what they were showing. Other times they focused way too much on Not Bill Ward drummer for hire Tommy Clufetos, the only “member” of the band nobody at the show had actually bought a ticket to see. His extended drum solo during the Bill Ward drum solo song “Rat Salad” seemed to be a slap in the face to Ward and his fans. Geezer Butler was great on bass, no surprise there, but it was nice to see the guy’s still got it. He was getting some sick tones out of that bass too. And Tony Iommi, even after all these years, mutilated fingers and battling back from cancer, he still plays everything so damn smoothly live. I swear he could play those songs just as well in the dark. There were still a few new touches he threw in, like the bonus intro part at the start of the band’s perennial encore song, “Paranoid.” There’s a reason he is nicknamed the riff master and the night’s set was a showcase of some of his most classic riffs played to perfection.

This wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen Black Sabbath, but it was a great show. It really had me thinking about all the times I’ve seen them before, all the people I’d seen them with and the different places in life I was at each time. Black Sabbath wasn’t the first metal band I liked, I already had a few Metallica and Megadeth tapes and the like when I traded for a copy of Black Sabbath’s best hits album We Sold Our Souls For Rock ‘N’ Roll, but that album is what changed me from being a casual music fan to a die hard metal head. While Black Sabbath played songs from that album I thought about the day I first listened to it, I still remember. And I thought about how cool it was getting to interview and then meet Bill Ward in 2014, certainly the number one highlight of my time working on this very blog. I was hoping the show would never end because I didn’t want to deal with the cold, hard fact that I’ll never get to see them perform live again. But reality has a way of always winning out and time waits for no man. After the show ended the band all took a bow and Ozzy’s daughter Kelly came out on stage and shot a short video of the audience still going wild. I talked to a lot of people before, after and even a few during the show. Friends old and new, strangers, people who knew me from this website, random people crammed in line next to me while we waited to buy merch, drunks in the parking lot, everyone there to see Black Sabbath for one last time (or maybe even their first time). I had a great time and yeah, I’m bummed that I won’t have any more great times at Black Sabbath concerts, but I’m grateful that I got to see the band that started it all perform one last time for us and just for me.

Thanks for reading this. Below I’ve posted a few videos I shot at the show. I didn’t have a photo pass and these were all shot on my phone. I think the sound quality came out pretty good though. I hope you enjoy them!

Black Sabbath – N.I.B.

Black Sabbath – Dirty Women

Black Sabbath – Paranoid

Black Sabbath and Mayhem Fest Ticket Contest

Mayhem Fest and Black Sabbath

There’s a couple of kick ass metal shows coming up in the next few weeks at Jiffy Lube Live and DCHeavyMetal.com wants to make sure as many of you can go to these shows as possible! Rockstar Energy Drink’s Mayhem Fest is headlined by Rob Zombie this year and will be at JLL on Wednesday, July 24th and we’re giving away a pair of pit tickets to it! Ozzy Osbourne is back with Black Sabbath and they’re coming to JLL on Friday, August 2nd and we’re giving away a pair of seated tickets to that show as well! To enter: Just leave a comment on this post telling me which concert you want to go to and why. You can enter for both if you want, but you can only win tickets to one of the concerts. On Friday, July 19th at 5pm EST I’ll use Random.org to select 2 winners, one for each show, to win a pair of tickets to the show they chose. Make sure you enter in a valid email address you check regularly when you submit your comment so I can contact you if you win, though it doesn’t need to be in the comment itself. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any email lists or sell your info, I hate spam too. If I don’t hear back from a winner within 24 hours another winner will be chosen. If you can’t wait to see if you win the tickets, or the contest is over when you read this, you can buy tickets to Mayhem Fest here and Black Sabbath here. Now here’s a little more info on each show…

This year’s Mayhem Fest will have over 18 bands playing on four stages! On the main stage you’ll find Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon and Amon Amarth, the last of which will be bringing a giant viking ship on stage (you can catch a glimpse of it in the video below)! But don’t think there aren’t any bands worth seeing on the other stages. Machine Head, Children Of Bodom, Job For A Cowboy, Battlecross, Huntress, Scorpion Child and many more are going to be tearing it up on those stages as well. It’s going to be a hell of a day for metal!

Just last month Black Sabbath put out their new album 13 (read our review of it here), the band’s first full length with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978! The godfathers of heavy metal will be playing their classics along with some of the new material for a show that is going to please metal fans young and old. I’m not sure what else I should really write here, it’s fucking Black Sabbath, if you’re a metal head then you need to be there!

Review of 13 by Black Sabbath

Band: Black Sabbath
Album: 13
Release Date: 11 June 2013
Label: Vertigo Records (Universal)
Buy From Amazon: Here

Cover of 13 by Black Sabbath

DCHeavyMetal.com focuses on metal in the Washington DC, Baltimore and Virginia area, and usually I only do reviews of albums by bands from inside the area. However, I’d like to break one of my own rules today and post a review of the new Black Sabbath album, 13. They’re my favorite band and metal is about breaking rules anyways, right? So let me dive into Black Sabbath’s first album with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978…

If you’ve ever met me in person you might have noticed that I have O-Z-Z-Y tattooed on my left knuckles, my first tattoo back when I was 18. When Sabbath reunited with Ozzy Osbourne in the late 90s the first show of the US tour was at Nissan Pavilion (now known as Jiffy Lube Live). They had a tent there and people were waiting hours to get tattoos but when they heard I wanted Ozzy on my hand they rushed me right in. The people working the tent were taking pictures and shooting videos of me getting my tattoo, it was a fun experience. I figured if there was ever a day to get Ozzy tattooed on my hand that was it. I used to draw it on there with a ball point pen every day anyways so this saved me money on ink costs. Since it’s a visible tattoo people often ask if I ever regret it and I never have, though it’s funny when people ask if (or just assume that) my name is Ozzy, haha. Anyways, a lot of people have asked for my opinion on the new Black Sabbath album, 13, since I’m such a big Sabbath fan. Is it as good as the classic albums from the 70s?

No. I don’t think it realistically could be. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a really good album. I think the track order (here) is poor and the better songs tend to be later in the album. I like the first two songs, both of which are over 8 minutes long, but I don’t think they were the best songs to get people into the album. Casual fans of the band, or people just interested in all the hype, may lose interest and not make it past that point. Also, the choice of the slow to build up second track, “God Is Dead?,” as the lead promotional song seems kind of dumb. I think the shorter song “Loner,” which has a catchy riff right from the start, would have been a better choice for drumming up early interest. The song “Zeitgeist” is my least favorite of the album. It’s basically a rehash of “Planet Caravan,” from their 1970 album Paranoid, but far less interesting and just not as good. That said, I think the band really starts to sound good on later tracks like “Age Of Reason” and my (current) favorite song from the album, “Damaged Soul.” The sad riff on “Damaged Soul” along with the use of a harmonica shows Black Sabbath still have their roots in the blues. “Live Forever” is another really solid song that I think should have been the album’s opening track. The closing song of the album, “Dear Father,” discusses the issues with priests hiding crimes by the clergy, though it isn’t as somber as you’d expect due to one of Tony Iommi’s signature heavy riffs.

Ozzy’s voice is heavily processed throughout 13 but that’s pretty typical these days for any older studio vocalist (hell even the younger ones can’t quit their Auto-Tune addictions). Even in the studio he doesn’t have the energy that he used to in his youth but this isn’t a band of 20 somethings anymore, they’re musicians that have been making music for over 40 years now. The Black Sabbath sound has matured and aged with the members and that’s not a bad thing. Tony Iommi’s riffs are as thick and heavy as ever, further proof to everyone that he’s still the Riff Master. Geezer Butler’s bass playing is excellent throughout 13 reminding us all that there is a place for bass guitar when mixing metal albums. As for the drums, well, Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave drummer Brad Wilk is probably the weakest link of the band. He isn’t really an official member but just did session work after contract disputes (thanks Sharon) left original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward out of the production of the new album. To put it bluntly, Brad Wilk’s drumming on 13 is just boring. It is so uninspired that they may as well have gotten a drum machine instead. This might not even be his fault though. With the Sabbath guys and producer Rick Ruben all running things in the studio, he was probably just told to keep things simple to have the focus on the three other musicians. This might work for newer fans of the band but to those more familiar with Ward’s work in Sabbath it just makes his absence even more apparent. I really hope that Tommy Clufetos does a better job playing live with Sabbath on tour this year than Wilk did in the studio.

The album closes with the fading sounds of rain, thunder and a church bell that is almost exactly like the intro to the song “Black Sabbath,” the first song on the band’s self titled debut album. But wait, there’s more! Four original bonus tracks not on the regular album can be found in various places. My favorites are the riff filled song “Pariah” and the faster paced “Naïveté In Black”. There’s also a live version of “Dirty Women” that was recorded at a show in Australia in April 2013, suggesting they might be playing the old song on their upcoming tour. Which, by the way, comes to town on Friday, August 2nd at Jiffy Lube Live (details here). In all this isn’t my favorite Black Sabbath album but it is the one we got in 2013 and I’ll be damned if I don’t play the hell out of it. New Sabbath fans might want to start with one of the first five albums, or maybe even the best hits collection We Sold Our Soul For Rock ‘N’ Roll, but long time fans shouldn’t have any gripes about adding this to their Sabbath collection. The most anticipated metal album of the year is here and it is definitely worth the listen.

Feel free to leave a comment telling me what you think of the new album. Did it exceed your expectations or do you think it was just a cash grab? Is it better than the 2009 Heaven And Hell album, The Devil You Know, with Tony, Geezer and vocals by the late Ronnie James Dio? If you think you could have written a better review check out this post and see if you’ve got what it takes to review albums here on DCHeavyMetal.com And of course, be sure to check out a few new songs from the album below that I picked to give you an even better idea of what’s on 13.

Track 6: Live Forever

Track 3: Loner

Track 7: Damaged Soul

Black Sabbath ticket give away

Black Sabbath at Jiffy Lube Live

The fathers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath, will be coming to our area on Friday, August 2nd, 2013, to perform live at Jiffy Lube Live! Needless to say, that’s a big deal here at DCHeavyMetal.com! Tickets will go on sale this Friday at 10am (here) but we’re so damn excited that we just can’t wait that long to give away a pair to one of you lucky readers of the site. You don’t want to sit on the lawn to watch this sure to be epic show so we’re giving away a pair of seated tickets! To enter just tell me your favorite Ozzy Osbourne-era Black Sabbath song in the comments section at the end of this post. At 7pm EST on Thursday, May 9th, 2013, the contest will close and a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to get the free pair of seated tickets to the show. If I don’t hear from the winner within 24 hours then I’ll randomly pick another person to get the tickets. Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, win or lose I won’t add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all of your entries will be disqualified. If you need help remembering what Black Sabbath songs Ozzy sang on, click on the following links for the track listings of his each of his albums with the band: Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master Of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage, Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die!

Black Sabbath released their self titled debut album on Friday the 13th of February 1970 and with it and the albums that followed they laid the foundation that heavy metal and all of its splintering sub-genres are built upon. Ozzy Osbourne was very publicly ejected from the band in the late 70s and aside from a couple of bonus songs at the end of their Reunion live double-album in 1998, they haven’t released any new material with him since. That ends on June 11th when Black Sabbath releases 13, Black Sabbath’s first full length album with Ozzy on vocals since 1978! The master of heavy riffs, Tony Iommi, is still at it on the band’s new track God Is Dead?, which you can listen to below. The support on this tour is being provided by the hard partying Andrew W.K. Now check out the new Sabbath track and a few of my personal favorites as you leave your comment to enter the contest!

Review of Ozzy Osbourne gig at 1st Mariner Arena

So Monday the 29th of November 2010 started off pretty normally for me, normal routine of going to work and all. I’d just seen Psycroptic and Keep Of Kalessin play Jaxx the night before, so I had a review to work on (you can read that here) but otherwise it was a normal day. Then my girlfriend called me to tell me she’d gotten me an early Xmas present, a 10th row ticket to see Ozzy that night at Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena! Well the work day couldn’t go by fast enough at that point. The venue actually granted me a photo pass for Rob Halford‘s set (the opening act) but Ozzy’s people wouldn’t give me one. It didn’t really matter as I didn’t have my nice camera with me at work and I couldn’t make it to the venue early enough if I went home to get it. I did get to the venue around 8pm and I had been told Ozzy would hit the stage at 8:45 so instead of going through security to buy an expensive dinner, I hit up a little deli across the street. I got myself a pastrami sandwich, cheaper and better than anything inside the arena I’m sure, and headed into the venue. After sneaking my camera through security I headed to my seat. And again for the second time now at 1st Mariner Arena, the second I got to my seat I looked up at the stage and right then Ozzy came out to start the concert. Perfect timing again! The first time this happened was when I saw Slayer and Megadeth there in October and you can read my review of that here.

Since I completely missed Rob Halford’s set I won’t comment on that. I wasn’t too upset though since I’m not much of a Judas Priest fan anyways. I am, however, a huge Black Sabbath and Ozzy fan. The reason I’m such a huge metal head has a lot to do with Black Sabbath and the fact that I even run this website does too. That said, I know he’s past his prime, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t love every second of this concert. The last time I saw Ozzy was almost three years ago in January 2008 at the Verizon Center. That wasn’t the greatest show, he had been sick and it was a short set and they all seemed to be just going through the motions. This concert fully made up for it though! This was the first time I have gotten to see the new guitarist, Gus G, play live with Ozzy, and the band definitely seemed more energized than when I saw them in 2008. Gug G did a great job of playing songs by each of his four main predecessors, Tony Iommi, Randy Rhodes, Jake E. Lee and Zakk Wylde, and they played one of his own songs, Let Me Hear You Scream, too. I have video of him playing songs by each of these guys from this concert posted below so you can see how he handles them, so check them out at the end of the post. There was also a second guitarist on some songs, I think mostly the Black Sabbath songs really. This was actually the keyboardist Adam Wakeman, who also has played with Black Sabbath. He didn’t have any guitar solos and only played rhythm guitar and stayed out of the spotlight for most of the show. Ozzy’s voice started out a bit rough this show, but after his voiced dropped out a couple of times early on, he seemed to get it together and mostly stay on track for the rest of the show. He was entertaining as always, and he brought out his big foam-shooting hose several times throughout the night to spray the audience as well as himself. He really seemed to have a lot of energy up there, much more than the last time I saw him. There were a lot of loud booming fireworks and a sort of fire-rain pyrotechnics thing at the beginning of Mr. Crowley. All of this showed why after 40 years Ozzy is still headlining arenas, his shows are always over the top.

The setlist focused mostly on what are probably the two most popular albums of Ozzy’s career, Paranoid by Black Sabbath and Blizzard Of Ozz, his first solo record. The only Randy Rhodes era songs were from Blizzard, and they played the staples Mr. Crowley, Suicide Solution, Crazy Train and I Don’t Know. The only Black Sabbath songs played were all from Paranoid, and they of course played Iron Man, War Pigs, Paranoid as well as Fairies Wear Boots and they even incorporated the instrumental Rat Salad in the band solos. That was actually pretty damn awesome. They started it off as a sort of all band jam doing Rat Salad that morphed into a killer guitar solo by Gus G. He didn’t play with his teeth or behind his head like Zakk did the last time I saw Ozzy, but it was nice to hear a different style of guitarist up there shredding (and none of those pig squeal things Zakk does every fucking 5 seconds). They went back into a full band jam for a brief bit, before drummer Tommy Clufetos started on a pretty crazy drum solo of his own. They raised the platform the drums were on and his extended solo was pretty damn impressive, and included a bit of audience participation and fireworks too, which was all pretty cool. I had actually seen him do a big drum solo like this at the last Ozzy show I saw, but he was playing with the opener Rob Zombie then. The whole solo wrapped up as the band finally finished their rendition of Rat Salad. That was such a fresh take on that song, and was really one of the most fun solo/jam sessions I’ve seen at an Ozzy show since I saw Joe Holmes do a crazy guitar solo based around Symptom Of The Universe in the 90s. Hell, this might have been better than that actually. Anyways, I wasn’t missing Zakk Wylde at this point, and I’m not sure if he meant it that way or not, but Ozzy didn’t seem to be either when he stated between songs that the old material was the best! They did play a few Zakk songs, most notably the track Fire In The Sky from No Rest For The Wicked in 1988. The crowd seemed bewildered when he played this, I don’t think most people there knew this song at all. I got video of it though as I knew how rare this was for him to play, and you can see most people just sorta standing around like zombies. I don’t think that song has been in the live rotation for almost 20 years, so that was something pretty cool for the Ozzy die hard fans out there, instead of just playing all hits.

In all I had a great fucking time. The show was fantastic, 100 times better than the last really, and he played for the better part of 2 hours. Getting to see Ozzy is always a concert highlight of the year for me, and this was really one of the best shows I’ve seen him do in a very long time. I did like Zakk but I very much welcome the new guitarist, Gus G, to the fold and really I can’t wait to see them play again. Well, thanks for reading this whole thing. And don’t forget I’ve got a contest going on right now to give away a pair of tickets to see The Sword at the 9:30 Club on Monday, the 6th of December 2010. Go here to enter to win. You don’t have to sign up for anything to do it. Once you’re done with that check out the videos below that I shot from the floor, some of my best video footage yet (they even posted my video of Fairies Wear Boots to the official Ozzy Facebook and Twitter pages!). I’m really glad the venue wasn’t strict about using cameras down there. I recommend checking out my video for War Pigs as that should give you a good idea of my view at the concert. Enjoy!