Black Sabbath Sheffield Arena 14th December 2013

Black Sabbath Sheffield Arena 14th December 2013
sabbathLast night I went with my mate Norm to see those mighty metal pioneers Black Sabbath in concert at Sheffield Arena. Its been over 30 years since we both last saw Sabbath, so we were really looking forward to revisiting our youth and reminding ourselves who the true gods of metal are, and where it all started. We left around 4pm and drove down to Sheffield arriving just after 6pm. There was time for a bite to eat at one of the pubs over the road from the arena, before we walked over to the Arena to have a look at the merchandise (nice, but pricey, so we passed) and catch the support act, who were a young new UK band called Uncle Acid and the Dead Beats. Uncle Acid and the Dead Beats have been described as “the original Alice Cooper band jamming in a cell with early Black Sabbath and the Stooges” (Metal Blade Records), and that sums them up pretty well. Their heavy, dark riffs filled the hall, are very reminiscent of early Sabbath, and prepared the crowd for the main act. The crowd was a mix of heavy rock and metal fans of all ages; old-timers like us, and young metalheads, everyones knows how important Sabbath are in the history of heavy metal and classic rock. Right on time at 8.30pm, Black Sabbath took to the stage. We had standing tickets and made our way as close to the front as we could get. We knew what to expect, Norm has been watching a DVD of Sabbath on tour in Australia earlier this year, so we were anticipating a set full of classics. And that’s exactly what we got; Ozzy and the guys took us right back to their first album, and played all those great 70s metal anthems, with a few songs thrown in from their new album “13”. The packed arena was up and ready for a night of classic heavy metal. From the first chords of opening song “War Pigs”, everyone had their hands in the air, waving back at Ozzy who goaded us to “Go F***ing Crazy!”. The sound was clear, loud and crisp, and the playing excellent; all four band members were rocking, giving it full throttle and volume throughout the entire set. These guys invented heavy metal, and it still doesn’t get much better. I feared that they might not be able to cut it anymore, but last night they delivered 100% and then some. Black-Sabbath-2013-604x639Ozzy looked pretty fit, and his voice was in much better shape that I had hoped or imagined. The guy still has stamina and kept a crazy pace going all night. Tony Iommi’s guitar playing switched between exquisite dark, doomy riffs and impressive solos, and Geezer Butler stood solid, pounding thunderous classic metal rhythms from his bass. Its sad that Bill Ward isn’t with them on the tour, but explosive new dynamo drummer Tommy Clufetos, who comes from Ozzy’s band, did an excellent job, full of energy and power. The stage set was impressive with large screens showing a mix of live video of the band, and images of darkness, doom, war, and blasphemy underlining that we were witnessing the classic dark heavy metal band. The show was almost exactly tow hours, and included “Snowblind”, “Black Sabbath”, “N.I.B.”, “Fairies Wear Boots” and “Iron Man”. The encore just had to be “Paranoid”. Stunning, powerful stuff. Sabbath showed us just what heavy metal is and can be, and for me last night they reclaimed their crown as the hardest, darkest rock band on the planet. Sometimes the old guys are still the best, and can still deliver.
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.
We left the Motorpoint Arena at 10.30, drove up the MI, A1 and the A19 and were back home safe just before 12.30am, ours ears still ringing; and thoughts of a classic rock band running through our heads, some 40+ years since we first saw and heard them. It just don’t get any better.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dawn on January 9, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    not seen black sabbath since 1980 at newcastle city hall pleased to see they are still kicking it:)


  2. Black Sabbath are one of my all time fav bands but I have to say I thought they were past it by this point, having heard some of the you tube footage from this gig mind they actually sounded none to bad, and that album has grown on me, so slightly disappointed I didn’t go in retrospect; I did see the original line up with Bill on drums as well at the London Astoria in 1999 and they were outrageous, really loud and great to see them at close quarters, I missed the Birmingham NEC gigs in 1997 and was determined to see them in what was advertised as the ‘last supper’ gigs, although I think they’re telling the truth about being retired this time!


    • Posted by vintagerock on March 15, 2022 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Connor Black Sabbath were always top-class. Focus on the times you did say them, we will never see their like again. I have many regrets of concerts I missed; but such is life. I have learnt to focus on the many I did go to. Happy days Peter


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