hmv.com reviews... Black Sabbath @ British Summer Time
Legendary metallers Black Sabbath towered over the bill at British Summer Time on Friday night (July 4th) and we were there to review things...
The Godfathers of Heavy Metal supported by a stellar cast of some of the biggest (and oldest) names in rock.
Hyde Park as part of the British Summer Time program. This one was Black Sabbath Time though!
Tell us about the supporting cast?
Soulfly opened up in the blazing early afternoon sun in fine form despite probably not having been placed first on a bill ever before (such was the strength of the line-up). The highlight was Max Cavalera bringing his brother and former Sepultura bandmate Igor Cavalera on to drum for their old band’s quintessential hit 'Roots Bloody Roots'… and we really couldn’t have asked for more than that.
Motorhead have played a few gigs in their time – they could probably have played their set with their eyes closed. While they had a lot of love and support from the crowd, their set was steady rather than furious but it did the job and Lemmy’s warts got some glorious close-ups on the huge HD screens.
Then came Faith No More. Dressed as clergymen and with the stage festooned with flowers, they played a greatest-hits funeral. Singer Mike Patton’s between-song sound bites included some of the fruitier lines of abuse from 'The Exorcist' and other well-placed blasphemies. Hugely entertaining and an impressive amount of crowd sing along. No 'War Pigs' though - they missed a trick.
The nineties revival continued with Seattle’s Soundgarden (What a line-up!) who wasted no time in tearing into their set which was a start to finish recreation of their class album Superunknown - celebrating its 20 year anniversary this year. A strange choice for a festival gig perhaps but no one was complaining as it is undeniably a fantastic set of songs and the band were on fine form, the original line-up back in tact with Matt Cameron returning on drums after recent duties with Pearl Jam.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
The great line-up ensured that the metal-heads were out in force and there were good vibes throughout the park. Beer was drunk, skin was scorched and the devil was duly worshipped. And then a mini Brazilian carnival was staged which confused everyone.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
Sabbath were welcomed to the stage like heroes, their legacy has continued to grow over the years and they are well and truly established as forefathers of huge swathes of heavy music that has followed them. Every song choice for the set was a popular one, from opener 'War Pigs' to other classics such as 'Into The Void', 'Snowblind', 'Fairies Wear Boots', 'N.I.B', 'Children of The Grave' and an encore of 'Paranoid'.
The crowd didn’t even mind too much that they snuck in 'God Is Dead?' from last year’s comeback album 13 (which you can preview on the right-hand side of the page). Founding members Ozzy, Tony and Geezer were joined on drums by Tommy Clufetos, also drummer for Ozzy’s solo band, who did a great job of powering the songs along and also taking a lengthy drum solo so that his veteran bandmates could have a nice rest at one point (very considerate of him). The band sounded majestic throughout and their music is just as thrilling as ever, while context throws its originality into stark relief.
Any good between song banter?
It was all going so well, Ozzy had been whipping the crowd up into a malevolent frenzy, and then he said he had an announcement to make… “It’s my anniversary!” he beamed. What a way for the Prince of Darkness to ruin the mood.
Did they put on much of a show?
The huge screens which formed the stage backdrop played suitably evil and depraved images throughout. Oh and we had some lovely fireworks to finish.
What was the highlight of the set?
Probably Ozzy’s lovely sequined black top which looked like he had stolen it from wife Sharon’s wardrobe.
Where can I catch them next?
Speculation is rife that this might have been Sabbath’s last ever gig. No more are currently booked but fingers crossed that we haven’t seen the last of the metal titans and musical pioneers yet.