In 2017 it’s difficult to believe any band that says their last tour is their last tour. Thanks to a list that includes musicians like Kiss, The Who, Nine Inch Nails, Judas Priest, um Ozzy Osbourne, you can’t help but roll your eyes when “farewell” is tacked onto the band’s tour t-shirt.
That being said, with the average Black Sabbath band member looking at 70 years old in just a year or two, it’s probably safe to think Black Sabbath meant it when they said this one was going to be their final outing. The tour ended where it began, in the band’s hometown of Birmingham, England. Eagle Vision captures that final show – recorded on February 4th, 2017 – in the aptly titled DVD/CD combo titled “The End” (the same name as the tour).
It’s disingenuous to say the band is in top form at this show. Bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tomi Iommi sound remarkable, as does the kid on this tour, drummer Tommy Clufetos (a spry 37 years old, by comparison), but Osbourne’s vocals have certainly seen better days. To be fair you can’t expect him to belt out a classis like “Iron Man” or “War Pigs” and sound as solid now as he did almost five decades ago. But there is passion there, from Osbourne and his bandmates as they play the emotional, sold out show. The set includes everything a Sabbath fan could ask for, along with “Iron Man” and “War Pigs,” they play “Fairies Wear Boots,” “Snow Blind” and a slew of other songs that serve as the foundation for heavy metal today. And once the band gets into the set, you start to lose focus on the thinness of Osbourne’s vocals and realize just how remarkable it is that the band (minus original drummer Bill Ward) are still playing these classics so many years later.