I was a little more than intrigued about the prospect of seeing Black Sabbath at 2012 Lollapalooza. I was never a huge fan of the group, although I have become a fan of the group and their legacy over the years…even if it is with a hint of serious sarcasm thrown in. However, I’ve always loved this track and the Butthole Surfer’s song based on it called “Sweat Loaf.” It was originally to be the the original lineup of the group with Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Tommy Iommi and Bill Ward, as heard on this track from the “Masters Of Reality” album, that were to appear on tour that summer with a stop at Lollapalooza. But, right out of the gate infighting between the band and management over contracts resulted in Ward dropping out of the tour before it ever started. Nevertheless, I’d never seen Ozzy…or Iommi…or Butler, so now’s the time to see the mighty Sabbath before it’s too late. In the heartbreaking world of “Sophie’s Choices” within festival schedules, I guess I’m just going to have to miss the set by The Black Keys who are playing at the same time…
Editor’s note: This was first published 8/4/2012
The Black Sabbath that headlined the first day of Lollapalooza wasn’t your grandparent’s Black Sabbath…well, actually ¾ of it was…and they had all of the power and command of the stage like it was 1971 all over again. Sabbath blew all of the other acts I saw out of the water today, and it was an unexpected pleasure to see these veterans do their thing especially Tony Iommi on guitar. Tonight’s lineup featured Ozzy Obourne, Tony Iommi , Geezer Butler on bass and the replacement drummer for Bill Ward who could not reach a suitable financial agreement to come aboard for this tour, Tommy Clufetos. The set consisted strictly of early Sabbath tracks like “Fairies Wear Boots,” “Sweet Leaf,” “Paranoid,” “Black Sabbath,” “Snowblind,” “Children Of The Grave” and this scorcher that was accompanied by some pretty gruesome war imagery on the screens behind them. Curiously, none of the Lollapalooza posters or t-shirts listed Black Sabbath on them…it’s as if they weren’t there at all, however, if you were in the vicinity of the “Bud Light” stage tonight, you couldn’t…and shouldn’t have missed them. Other top-notch acts today included the reformed Afghan Whigs featuring Greg Dulli on lead vocals, Texas psychedelic band “The Black Angels” and the somewhat experimental rock of “thenewno2” (aka The New Number Two) with Dhani Harrison (son of George) on guitar and vocals. We headed out over to “Perry’s Stage” for a spell to hear some choice EDM (electronic dance music), and it is at Perry’s Stage, named for Perry Farrell founder of Lollapalooza and Jane’s Addiction, where the most interesting music scene unfolds all day long with non-stop DJ sets and alluring light shows even during the middle of the afternoon. Onward to day two!