Ozzy and Black Sabbath turn in bloody good show at Comcast Center

Black Sabbath on their 2013 tour are, from left, Clufetos, Butler, Osbourne and Iommi. (Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Black Sabbath on their 2013 tour are, from left, Clufetos, Butler, Osbourne and Iommi.
(Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Ozzy Osbourne was put on this earth to sing hard rock, and at 64, he is still agile and a consummate showman. During Black Sabbath’s set on Monday night at the Comcast Center, he doused himself with water in-between almost every song, and on several occasions poured buckets of that water on the front sections of the crowd. This was about as extensive as his gimmickry got, and it was just the right amount.

The band was tight throughout their 17-song set, focusing mostly on their most recent album, “13,” which, astoundingly, was the band’s first to reach No. 1 earlier this year. But the songs on “13” are such a return to form that they fit comfortably next to classics like “War Pigs,” “Children of the Grave,” “Paranoid” and “N.I.B.,” the latter of which was especially powerful on Monday night.

Bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi are mostly nose-to-the-grindstone, as they have always been during the band’s four-decade career, looking like stoic mirror images of each other, flanking the ever-goofy Ozzy. They hold down the tunes with inimitable precision. And drummer Tommy Clufetos, filling in for erstwhile Sabbath co-founder Bill Ward, was a welcome addition. Though Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk played on “13,” Clufetos has been a member of Osbourne’s solo band for years. Clufetos, who is about half the age of the other members, sat high upon the drum riser, and played with the ferocity that Sabbath’s music demands. Gangly and shirtless, he played like he was created in a lab, the result of some wicked scientific experiment to create the ultimate metal drummer. And when he launched into his solo between “Rat Salad” and “Iron Man,” it was evident that the experiment had worked.

The only experiment that didn’t work all the time was the video projection behind the band. At the beginning, it was appropriately scary, showing montages that proved this was definitely not a Disney-fied commercial-commodity version of Sabbath. In one of the more successful attempts, during “Age of Reason,” from the new album, a man in a straightjacket is stuffed into a morgue drawer, but he’s not dead. He convulses with a frantic energy that matches the music well.

Toward the end of the set, during their 1976 song “Dirty Women,” the montage was of pornos and strippers. It was over-the-top, but not over-the-top enough to provide any sort of commentary. What immediately sprang to mind was the scene in “This Is Spinal Tap” where Nigel and David are trying to find a good reason for why the makeup of their audience is predominantly male.

Sure enough, a quick survey of the audience revealed that it was indeed mostly dudes, and mostly dudes who were psyched to be looking at boobs, perhaps because many of them hadn’t seen the real things, without having to pay to see them, in some time. But coming to this speculative conclusion about the sexual success of the audience was the only downer of the night. It was only this moment where the band became a parody of itself, easier to identify because “Spinal Tap” had pointed out the parody in the first place.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

Movies

Review: 'Love is Strange' is not only a…

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina tie the knot in "Love is Strange," but the film winds up being more about living with people than an activist picture.

Movies

Frank Miller on writing 'Sin City'

Frank Miller's comics career is a long and storied one, with "Sin City" being one of his most individual creations. Here, in his own words,…

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…

Wellbeing

What eye symptoms need emergency attention?

Many people experience temporary eye-related problems such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) from a cold virus or a scratched cornea resulting from an object coming into…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to longterm happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. A new…

Parenting

Fun family activity: Off-Broadway show for pre-teens

"The Love Note" is an off-Broadway musical your pre-teen won't roll his or her eyes at.