I had the privilege to see the band that shaped everything I would listen to for the rest of my life. Dark Lyrics? Check. Heavier than anything I’ve heard? Check. Mom and Dad don’t approve? Check. The imagery, the lore, the prince of darkness himself; how could I pass up the chance of a/my lifetime to witness the band that started it all, and see it come to an end on their last tour ever.
Accompanied by my good friend Mitch, we decided that Ozzy would probably appreciate if we had some whiskey before the show, and then we made our way down to the Target Center. A cocktail of Harley Davidson biker dads, beards, burnt out high school kids in Disturbed shirts, ladies that spent too much time in tanning beds, and us - the crowd was just what I wanted.
There is no denying that a concert in a massive arena venue will never be as good as one of your favorite bands in some intimate venue, but I think Black Sabbath might be the exception to that rule (at least for me). So when they opened with the song “Black Sabbath,” and the rain sound effects started to fall and the thunder began and the giant banner fell just as the first riff began, it sounded like 1969 in the Target Center.
I was half expecting to see at least one wheel chair on stage, but no. Not even wires holding up Ozzy or Iommi, just old fashioned legs. Old age has made them tune their guitars down lower than they already are, but only because at the ripe age of 67, Ozzy can’t sing as high as he used too. But other than that, he was in prime form. Understandable between songs? Hardly. But all I know is that he called me a "motherfucker" about 20 times and I clapped every single time.
After head banging in my seat (about 10 rows from the top) to War Pigs, Hand of Doom, Iron Man, N.I.B., Into the Void and other blasters, a drum solo (from the only member that was not original) broke up the pace, and it was right out of some 1987 Motely Crue music video. Cheesy? Of course it was. Have the background video graphics been outdated since 1999? Of course they have. So after the “last” song was played and they strolled off the stage, only to be applauded back out (who saw that coming), they ended the night with their hit “Paranoid” and the Minneapolis crowd of ex-Hell’s Angels leather-clad dads hollered one last time.
I paid way too much money for a show and sat a half a mile away from the stage, next to a 300 lb. man who knew every drum fill and played them in the air. I saw a band that blew my 12-year-old mind when I got a burned copy of “Paranoid” in 2003, and I saw Ozzy before he will either die, live forever, or turn into his final form of a bat and fly away forever.
by Andy Wilcox (@wilco204)