at Oslo Spektrum, Norway, July 7, 2005

The four lads from Birmingham are at it again, and while the Americans are yet again embraced by a Ozzfest Tour with Black Sabbath headlining, this was in fact the first time Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward shared a stage in the country of Norway since the 22nd of April (grab something to hold) 1971!

Approximately 9000 tickets got legs to walk on pretty fast when they were on sale this spring, 7 years since Black Sabbath played in Oslo the last time – then with Vinny Appice behind the drumkit.

The reviews from the shows prior to the Oslo show have been good, and it was easy to tell that Ozzy was in great form as he was screaming to the audience in his wireless microphone from behind the stage even before the light went down. When the 57-year old reality star came running across the stage, the place went wild. “Let’s go crazy!!” he yelled, before the band hit the chords of the 35-year old classic “N.I.B.”

It was a wisely selected setlist from Black Sabbath, leaving out songs that Ozzy can’t sing anymore. Even though they teased the audience with the blistering riffs of “Sweet Leaf,” “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” and “Symptom Of The Universe” that’s all they provided from those classics. The main man struggled bigtime on “Dirty Women,” and the usual out-of-tune classic “War Pigs,” but the latter was nevertheless one of the evening’s greatest numbers, alongside “Iron Man,” “Black Sabbath,” and the laidback masterpiece, “Electric Funeral.”

The band sounded awesome, with Tony Iommi sounding like a bulldozer in Oslo Spektrum. On “Into The Void,” he almost tore the place down all by himself. With Ozzy running around, throwing buckets of water right in the front row’s faces, and jumping up and down like a monkey, it is clear to see that Black Sabbath hasn’t lost their touch. After all, can you come up with one band that are travelling around with the same line-up they had in 1970?

“Paranoid” closed the main set after 75 minutes, then the four schoolmates from Birmingham opened the encores with a surprising “Sleeping Village” before slipping into “Children Of The Grave.” With loads of charm, warmth, and dedication – Ozzy chanted “You are number one!” — “We love you!” — and “God bless you all!” to the crowd, and with the shape they are all in at the moment, it may well not be the last time these lads are seen in these parts…


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