It was late on the thirteenth of February 2016 when I joined the crowd that filled the Mandalay Bay Arena in Las Vegas. The intro band had ended, and the lights had all gone out. The sound of rain and church bells filled the air as the crowd grew louder in their cheers. The curtain over the stage showed the name ‘Black Sabbath’ in flames.
Suddenly, the opening chords to ‘Black Sabbath’ rang through the air, and the curtain vanished to reveal the band in all its glory. On the left were Tony Iommi and the right Geezer Butler, with the drummer Tommy Clufetos stationed behind them. But that wasn’t where I was looking; my eyes were locked on the front of the stage, where the Prince of Darkness himself stood in black in front of the microphone. There was no mistaking Ozzy Osbourne, and as he spoke the opening lines, I felt like I was in a trance caused by the power brought on by his presence. In fact, it felt like it was only yesterday that he performed at Budokan in 2002.
As the songs progressed, I actually found myself silently mouthing along to some of them. Had I been standing, I would’ve fallen to my knees. It didn’t matter that the band was on their final tour; they were still as amazing as ever.
As Black Sabbath began their trademark song ‘Paranoid’, I finally stood out of my seat, and it wasn’t because this was the closing number. This was my favorite Black Sabbath song, and it was clear that it would be the showstopper as confetti bearing the band’s name rained from the ceiling.
When the performance ended, I felt like nothing could ever have topped it. To this day, I have never forgotten that feeling, and I wonder if I’ll ever feel it again.
Fairies Wear Boots
Into the Void
Behind the Wall of Sleep
Hand of Doom
Medley of Supernaut and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Children of the Grave