Big Ass Concert Weekend Recap: Black Sabbath and the Melvins

I was on the fence about going to see Black Sabbath, but a friend of mine referred to it as “a once in a lifetime opportunity”, so I was like, let’s do this! it’s the original line-up (minus Bill Ward on drums) Ozzy’s drummer, Tommy Clufetos is filling in on this tour. in the pantheon of legendary rock acts, Black Sabbath is just as important and influential as the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. after seeing the show, it baffles me that ppl were throwing in the towel on these guys, after the release of 13. yes, Ozzy’s voice isn’t what it once was, but what he lacks in vocal range, he more than makes up for with his boundless energy and stage presence. Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler are still as badass as ever, expertly noodling their way thru all the classics. the setlist had four songs from the latest album, and thirteen more tunes from the classic Ozzy era of the 70s. Paranoid lead the way with five songs (including gems like “War Pigs” “Iron Man” and the title track) my only minor gripe is that they didn’t play anything off my personal favourite, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. I’d put this on my list of top 5 shows I’ve seen, and right on par with if I was seeing Paul McCartney play every Beatles hit on his current tour.

War Pigs -> Into The Void -> Under The Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes -> Snowblind -> Age of Reason -> Black Sabbath -> Behind the Wall of Sleep -> N.I.B. -> End of the Beginning -> Fairies Wear Boots -> Methademic -> Rat Salad -> Iron Man -> God Is Dead? -> Dirty Women -> Children of the Grave -> Paranoid


Andrew WK was more of a hype man, than an actual opening act. his “set” consisted of playing old school metal from bands like Slayer, Metallica, among others, off his ipod. if nothing else, at least we know he’s got good taste in music. my friend turned to me and said jokingly “you coulda opened for Sabbath!” and I replied “yes, but I would’ve played Ministry’s ‘Work For Love’ on a continuous loop for 45 minutes, or until they kicked me off stage, whichever came first.”

seeing as how I know absolutely nothing about music, I was always intrigued by the idea of a band with two drummers. last nite’s Melvins show gave me ample opportunity to observe the two-drummer dichotomy play out between Dale Crover and Coady Willis (also of sludge metal band, Big Business). so precise and in unison, that I would spend entire songs watching them play, waiting for that one moment they would be ever so slightly out of sync, but they never were. I was particularly impressed with their drumming on “Evil New War God” thru the many iterations of the Melvins, Dale and lead singer/guitarist Buzz Osborne have remained constants. they’ve been able to deftly move between genres from punk to sludge to experimental, over the course of their 30-year career. Houdini (released in 1993, and co-produced by Kurt Cobain) was their major label debut, and had the most representation in the setlist, with three songs. my personal favourites were the groovetastic, “Let It All Be” and the uber-sludgy, “Night Goat” from the opening droning riff of “Hag Me” to the bitchin’ cover of Butthole Surfers “Graveyard” which closed the show, King Buzzo & Co. were on point. JD Pinkus, of said Surfers, replaced Jared Warren on bass, who is at home on paternity leave. Pinkus side-project, Honky, was the opening act, but I didn’t get to the venue until the last 1.5 songs of their set.

Hag Me -> The War On Wisdom -> We Are Doomed -> Sweet Willy Rollbar -> A Growing Disgust -> Let It All Be -> Your Blessened -> Night Goat -> Lizzy -> Billy Fish -> The Water Glass -> Evil New War God -> Hung Bunny -> Roman Dog Bird -> Graveyard (Butthole Surfers cover)


needless to say, both shows get a 5/5


3 Responses to “Big Ass Concert Weekend Recap: Black Sabbath and the Melvins”

  1. Clint Says:

    Too bad I had to miss Black Sabbath for BronyCon!

    …I think that was a unique first world problem that I had.

  2. celticfrostedflakes Says:

    you shoulda done both!

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