And what an end it was!
In about October of last year, I had a call from Tony, an old school friend, and the guy who had organised the tickets for us to go and see AC/DC in 2015. He simple question was would I interested in going to see Black Sabbath on their last ever tour, The End Tour, in January. No brainer, really. So I immediately said yes, asking for two tickets, the second of which was Drew’s Christmas present.
So after all the exertions of the Saturday night, I made my way home, collected Drew and we made our way up to the O2 Arena in Greenwich.
It turned out that we weren’t the only ones going who had been at the party on Saturday night as two other people were also going, an old school friend called Martin, whose son had got him tickets for his birthday, and Dave, a friend who lives locally. And, as Dave was driving, he offered to give Drew and I a lift back home.
After grabbing something to eat, Drew and I met up with everyone and we made our way into the arena. We were in the golden circle, a kind of posh mosh pit, which meant that we were quite close to the stage.
First on stage was the support act, a band called Rival Sons from California. They were loud and they were good, even if the lead singer did seem to think that he was Jim Morrison with his mannerisms, movement etc, and the keyboard player had a ZZ Top beard.
After a twenty minute break whilst the roadies set up, Sabbath appeared, launching straight into Black Sabbath.
The band had three of the four original members playing, Geezer Butler on bass, Tony Iommi on guitar and Ozzy Osbourne singing. Sadly, due to contract disputes and falling out between him and Ozzy, the original drummer, Bill Ward, was absent, although his replacement, Tommy Clufetos, did an amazing job, including a fifteen minute drum solo.
The band was on stage for almost two hours, and although all of them, bar Clufetos, are nearly seventy, they still know how to perform. Even Ozzy was all over the place, though not as much as in his younger days. I think that the drink and drugs in his younger days have taken their toll, and at times his movements were almost Parkinsonian.
The gig ended with Children of the Grave, whilst giant balloons floated about and cannon fired out “Black Sabbath” confetti, the band briefly leaving the stage before returning to encore with Paranoid, which had everyone rocking.
Soon after this, Drew and I were outside, buzzing from the gig and partly deaf, where we met Dave and his friend Sean and we were home by midnight, although I confess to being absolutely knackered at work the following day.
If this really is the end, I’m certainly glad that I got to see one of the world’s best rock bands live before they disappear into history.