Review Summary: As long as the earth endures, there will never be an end for Black Sabbath.
One of my first memories from Black Sabbath is reading the review for their debut. Without even having heard a note from the album – or even Sabbath for that matter, with the exception of “Paranoid” – I was drawn by the dark, menacing cover art. However, I was also amazed by the fact that 2018 would mark the 50th anniversary from the legendary act’s formation; 50 years seems such a long time when you are young. A few years passed and in 1997 the original lineup reunited giving me hope that I would finally see them live just to learn that they would only give two shows in Birmingham. Finally, I had the opportunity to see the original lineup in 2005 even though I cannot remember much from the concert simply because it felt like an out of body experience.
You may wonder why I’m sharing with you the above and how they tie up with The End (Live)
. Well, listening to Sabbath’s live farewell feels like taking back my memories from 2005 and being on those 1997 shows in Birmingham. However, I cannot forgive the geezers (pun intended) for disappointing my 11 year old self by depriving me of the opportunity to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2018. Adding fuel to the fire, their performance on the night of February 4, 2017 is far from one by a group of future pensioners. Tony Iommi’s presence is as imposing as ever and his performance is close to impeccable. Geezer is building skyscrapers with his bass and Ozzy is in the best form since I can remember. The setlist is quite complete, even though “A National Acrobat” would be more than welcome. Nonetheless, The End (Live)
is far from individual performances or songs. It is about witnessing thousands of people paying their dues to the progenitors of metal, it is about realizing that Ozzy is still one of the best showmen and looking at Iommi smile in content. Most of all, it is about that goddamn lump in your throat that comes from knowing that you are listening/watching Black Sabbath’s final show.
Black Sabbath’s final concert is far from what I dreamt of; I always hoped that Dio would be part of it as he is a significant part of the band’s history. However, in life you rarely get the chance to live your dream scenario. Our generation wasn’t lucky enough to live in the era when these giants started walking the earth but now we have to witness their end. But then again, The End (Live)
is not an end per se. As long as there is heavy metal, as long as an impressionable teen becomes a metalhead because of these guys’ music and grabs a guitar to play Iommi’s riffs, there will never, ever be an end.