Black Sabbath and Van Halen Newcastle City Hall 1978

Black Sabbath and Van Halen Newcastle City Hall 1978
The Black Sabbath 1978 UK tour was memorable for one reason in particular. The support act on the tour was none other than (relatively) new American band Van Halen. Van Halen has just released their first album and were hot. Their debut album sold over ten million copies in the US alone and is still one of the most successful debuts by a rock band. It features such classic track as Runnin’ with the Devil; Eruption, and their tremendous version of the Kinks’ You Really Got Me. Sabbath, on the other hand, had just released Never Say Die, which was to the last studio album featuring Ozzy. On the night Van Halen were simply stunning. Don’t get me wrong, I went with a group of mates and we all still enjoyed seeing Sabbath, but Van Halen were new, hungry and totally on the money. Sabbath, on the other hand, seemed to be in a routine, and Ozzy wasn’t the same strong, wild front man that he had been a few years earlier. I guess the excesses were starting to take their toll. I was chatting with my mate Norm about the gig the other night, and he agreed that Van Halen blew Sabbath off stage that night, and felt that they were much better than when they returned a year or so later to headline their own tour. This was the last time I was to see Sabbath with Ozzy, and at the time couldn’t imagine how they could possibly continue without their front man. However, a couple of years later they did return with a new singer, and actually they were pretty good. Typical setlist from the 1978 tour: Symptom of the Universe; War Pigs; Never Say Die; Dirty Women; Rock & Roll Doctor; Electric Funeral; Embryo / Children of the Grave; Paranoid; Snowblind; Black Sabbath; Sabbath Bloody Sabbath; Iron Man; Fairies Wear Boots; Hand of Doom; N.I.B.; Gypsy

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by stewart robinson on September 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    was at the gig and sure my ears were bleeding after. van halen were the highlight of the night. loudest gig i had ever been to. went out and bought van halen’s first album and still play it


  2. Posted by Dave G on March 28, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I too was at this gig and until today I couldn’t recall the year, the day or just how cheap the tickets were. The music still moves me and there will be no line up to match Ozzy, Tony, Bill and Geezer.


    • Posted by Stephen Thickett on May 30, 2020 at 12:48 am

      The tickets for Sheffield City Hall were £3, inc fees I seem to remember.


      • Posted by vintagerock on May 30, 2020 at 11:39 am

        A bargain! Although it probably seemed expensive at the time. Happy days Peter

  3. Posted by Paul R on July 30, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    I remember that night, although there were no actual boo’s while Sabbath played you definitely knew which band had won the crowd. I agree, probably the loudest night I ever attended. Great memories of the City Hall.


  4. We went over early to see if we could meet either band. We knew of Van Halen by then because they’d been getting a lot of play on a local radio show. After a while a bus pulled up and we dashed over to it. The door opened and off got van Halen who just announced “we’re not Sabbath” and wandered off! I always wished I’d have the nerve to say “we know who you are, sign this Mr Roth!”


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