The journey to see Black Sabbath, The End started when I was planning a trade show for work. One of my co-workers, a recent college grad was attending as well and asked it I wanted to head out a day early as she had never been to Las Vegas. Well you don’t have to ask me twice to go to Vegas a day early so I immediately searched for entertainment for the Saturday we were arriving.
Within about five minutes of searching Vegas sites, I saw that Black Sabbath would be playing Las Vegas on their The End tour. Holy crap I thought to myself, the original lineup (minus Bill Ward) but a chance to see Ozzy with Tony and Geezer was an instant, HELLZ YEAHZ! I asked my co-worker if she wanted to attend but did not expect her to. That’s fine I was willing to go by myself as this would be Sabbath’s last tour.
I had seen Sabbath once before with Ronnie James Dio singing in the early 90s and it was a great show. I had also seen Ozzy with his band in the 80s and it was decent. Ozzy always had a great backup band but as we now know he was battling alcoholism and does not even remember the performances. Side note: go watch God Bless Ozzy Osbourne.
So I booked my early ticket and reserved an AirBNB room in Las Vegas for Saturday. Just a few days before I left I was talking to my best friend, Joe Costanzo who tells me he’s in Vegas and will be there through the weekend. I asked him, “What are you doing Saturday night?” He was free and as excited as I was that Black Sabbath was playing. And to boot he was staying in the MGM Grand where the concert was being held.
I headed out to Vegas and spent the earlier part of the day showing my co-worker the Vegas Strip. I called Joe and told him that I would be at the MGM Grand around 6 pm and started looking for tickets on StubHub. We grabbed a few drinks, scored $45 tickets and ate dinner before heading to the show.
We missed the opening band but that’s OK. I can’t even remember who it was! We got to our seats as the second song, Fairies Wear Boots was playing. And it sounded great!
After Forver and Into the Void followed. Ozzy was jumping around the stage, bowing to the audience and constantly telling everyone to “get those fucking hands in the air!” Then came Snowlbind from Vol. 4 and War Pigs which was amazing! War Pigs is one of those songs that has a full range of emotions in it.
WASP into Behind the Wall of Sleep lead to N.I.B. and then Hand of Doom. I really love Hand of Doom since it’s similar to War Pigs it goes from slow to fast tempo, back to slow and fast again. The lyrics are great and Ozzy sounded fantastic.
Rat Salad with with Tommy Clufetos drum solo was next. Ozzy informed the audience that he was taking a quick break. I had not seen Tommy play before but he’s a madman on the drums. Reminded me of Animal from The Muppets as he swung his arms in front of his head as he pounded out the drum solo.
After the drum solo Ozzy, Tony and Geezer returned to the stage to play the classic Iron Man.
The set closed with Dirty Woman, the only track from Technical Ecstasy, and then Children of the Grave. The encore was Paranoid. and then it was over.
I would have loved to have seen some tracks from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath or Sabotage but the setlist focused primarily on the first four Sabbath albums. With a catalog like Sabbath’s it’s hard to pick a setlist that pleases everyone. The setlist was driven by the band’s classic tunes and had great energy and mojo that kept the pace and did not disappoint.
After the show Joe and I headed to the merch tables. I saw the tour poster and knew I had to buy one as it was silver ink on black and included this leg of the tour dates.
We then headed out the casino floor where we caught up with my co-worker and watch the mix of old metalheads mixing in with young millennials coming into the casino to hit the dance club.
This show was just awesome. Both Joe and I thought it was one of the best shows we had seen and were so happy that we were able to catch the final tour for Black Sabbath. Ozzy sounded great and had so much stage energy. It was great to see him perform sober and he has so much love for the fans.