Each and every one of Black Sabbath’s live performances is a life experience for every metalhead and music enthusiast, especially when we’re talking about the band’s last ever tour that puts to an end to a trip of 40 years. The release of their last studio album ” 13 ” three years ago and the subsequent announcement of the end of their career with a worldwide farewell tour, put their name in the top ranks of every major festival billing in Europe and became a priority to everyone involved with concerts.

Let’s take things from the beginning; the presence of the writer in the neighborhoods of Slovakia was an excellent opportunity to visit the capital of waltz Vienna to see for the last time those friends from Birmingham, who would have the promising American blues rockers Rival Sons along with this gig. The journey from Bratislava to Vienna and the story was dreamy; two buses from the capital of Slovakia started their journey and in the evening of 28/6 they expected this journey to be worthy of the history. The presence and little experience of the writer in similar events abroad was not something to be scared about, despite the fact that the arrival in Stadthalle arena of the Austrian capital was an hour before the doors open. The scarce presence of the crowd began to thicken and queues started forming on doors and merch stands, while we were all listening to the music of Black Sabbath! We said it before, the day belonged to the Sabbath and the party had started early.

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So, Rival Sons opened the gig, in an arena that kept accepting the fresh crowd, however it was full enough to excite the Americans. The timetables were followed almost in full and with five minutes delay, around at 19:35 the band played in front of an enthusiastic audience; a crowd that was filled with people form various countries such as Greece, Croatia, Poland, Czech Republic with the presence of several coaches outside Stadthalle arena. The setlist was short and quite capable to stir up the crowd and give the necessary warm up. The songs we heard were coming from the last three efforts of the band and especially the hits, like Electric Man / Secret / Hollow Bones Pt.1 / Torture / Fade Out / Get What’s Coming / Open My Eyes / Keep On Swinging which were accompanied by an amazing stage presence of all members.

Since the Americans did their job well, the atmosphere became even warmer and the black cloth fell imposing in front of the stage and before our eyes. The necessary check up of the sound and the instruments one last time took place until the band logo poped through fires in front of the black cloth. An introductory digital video with the beloved winged Lucifer gave its own mark on what would follow in the rest of the evening.

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The sound of the introduction of the homonymous track, already vibrates our ears and the black cloth falls. The heroes of our adolescence and for many the Godfathers of Metal, started the gig dynamically. Quite a professional performance by Geezer Butler and Tonny Iommi on guitar and bass, while Ozzy Osbourne was quite lively as time passed with the known sayings and water fights dominating during the setlist. People who attended the gig enjoyed a strong enough best of the best setlist of the first period of the group through the consecutive songs Fairies Wear Boots / After Forever / Into The Void / Snowblind / War Pigs / Behind The Wall Of Sleep / NIB / Hand Of Doom / Rat Salad / Iron Man / Dirty Women / Children of the Grave and Paranoid, which sealed the evening with a strong opening by Tonny Iommi. In the intermediates of the setlist we enjoyed a bass show by Geezer Butler and a solo by the band’s diligent drummer Tommy Clufetos, who was chosen to replace the void of Bill Ward following the latter’s refusal to participate in the last ever tour of the group.

One way or another, Iommi and his gang gave a wonderful performance, which – I’m quite sure – it surprised even those who aren’t followers of this particular kind of music. It’s a little bit awkward to write such a report about a band that puts an end to its journey, however all good things come to an end and I fell blessed for being able to attend one of their gigs and see them live in such an emotional tour. Keep the flame alive!!!

Evangelos Charis