Black Sabbath August 24 2013

OK… Should I start with the good or should I start with the bad and get it out of the way? I think I will start with the good.

First of all the Gorge in George Washington is an incredibly beautiful place to see a show. The Venue is set up with reserved seating up front and terraced lawn in the back looking out toward the Columbia River as a back drop to the stage. This was only the second time I have seen a concert at the Gorge (My first being The WHO in August of 2000) and was Toni, Ryan and Nicki’s first concert there.  Their impressions were slightly mixed (see the “low lights” below).

Black Sabbath came on a little after eight following the opening act, Andrew W. K. who got the crowd primed with a pretty good D.J. set of classic metal. Sabbath started the show with one of their most powerful classic songs “War Pigs” which really set the pace for the rest of the night. It was great to see Tony Iommi play all of the old classic signature riffs which made Sabbath so great. Geezer Butler was a mad-man on the bass powering through lightning fast solos and maintaining that distinctive Sabbath vibe. Ozzy did an incredible job with vocals of course.. we thought he was even better than the previous two  times we had seen at his solo shows. He seemed much more active and animated than at previous shows, shuffling across the stage from one side to the other.. tossing buckets of water into the audience and doing many of his famous frog hops. Bill Ward (Original Drummer) is not touring with the band during this tour, but the current drummer (Tommy Clufetos) was absolutely phenomenal. He had about a 20 minute solo, which I am sure was designed to give the rest of the guys a short break to rest for a bit. But no matter, he ripped it up and blew us away. After this solo the band returned and went into playing “Iron Man” which was probably my second favorite song of the night next to “Fairies Wear Boots” which has always been my favorite Sabbath song.  They played until a little after 10:00 (set list below) which seemed just right for covering most of their classics as well as a few from their new album “13”. Certainly the show was worth seeing even given the crowd issues I will now get into.

Where to start…. Maybe with all the drunk 40-50 somethings. My God, these people just could not maintain any kind of civility or consideration of other people’s personal space. I swear we had at least a half dozen different groups of drunk people coming and going behind us. Worst of which was a guy Ryan applicably named “Ass Hat Guy”. This guy I swear was pushing 50, drunk and stoned out of his mind and trying to what we think was dance. Of course he could only bounce his sweaty shirtless body off people around him including, Ryan and Nicki. I hollered at him once to mellow, but I think he just thought I was commenting on how well he was dancing.. He finally left, but “best friend guy” quickly took his place. This guy grabbed my shoulders a number of times wanting to make sure that I knew I was seeing vintage Black Sabbath.. well I was trying anyway! The guy next to Toni apparently didn’t like standing in front of his seat and decided Toni had a better view of the stage and stood in front of her.. I mean what’s up with that! “Big Biker Dude” came down our aisle and stood right in front of Ryan. Instinctively I hit his shoulder and told him to move, which I immediately thought might not have been such a good idea.. but he actually moved and didn’t kill me. I know marijuana is “legal” in Washington now, but really.. was there anyone in the crowd not smoking but us? I also think we were the only people who had actually paid for the seats we actually sat at. People were coming and going all around us…..which makes my rant from an early post even more appropriate. Not only do we have to pay big bucks to scalpers who Ticketmaster and Live Nation allow to buy up all the good seats, but when those bozo “brokers” can’t sell them, it leaves them open for posers who stream passed the nonexistent venue security like rats. Anyway, I think this will probably be the last show we see at the Gorge. I don’t think I have ever been to a show with so little crowd control or a so few people who actually care for the music and the show. Seemed all everyone were interested in was to just get blasted drunk.. I mean we have seen bands like Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Metallica and Judas Priest and have never run into a crowd so out of control.. Not sure if I can fully blame the venue for enabling this, but they certainly don’t discourage it.

Set List:

  1.    War Pigs
  2.    Into the Void
  3.    Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes
  4.    Snowblind
  5.    Age of Reason
  6.    Black Sabbath
  7.    Behind the Wall of Sleep
  8.    N.I.B
  9.    End of the Beginning
  10.   Fairies Wear Boots
  11.   Rat Salad
  12.   Iron Man
  13.   God is Dead?
  14.   Dirty Women
  15.   Children of the Grave
  16.   Paranoid


  1. Great pictures! It was a great show. I hope I’m not getting too old, but the crowd really was a bit out of control. I do wish that the security at the Gorge did more to keep the aisles clear, etc. I would go through just about anything to see Black Sabbath though! Amazing show.

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