Firstly, I would just like to say that I went to this gig to see Gus G. As a long standing
Gus G. and Firewind supporter I wanted to at least see Gus perform with Ozzy just once in my life! So as you can imagine, the anticipation I felt before the day arrived was immense, and expectations were running really high. I wasn't to be disappointed...
With seats on the balcony (that's all I could get, as tickets sold like hot cakes!!), I was very happy to find before me a fantastic view of the stage, on this occasion, I was pleased not to be in the pit!! Plus, the surroundings of the Town Hall were very easy on the eye too, with great acoustics.
The show commenced to shouts of "Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy", no surprise there then, with the words to the song Not Going Away blasting through the speaker system, this then merged into what sounded like Carl Orff's - Carmina Burana, and straight into the first song of the set Bark At The Moon. Gus' lead thundering around the auditorium, sounding like the true professional we all know he is. Anyone having seem him perform with his own band Firewind will know what I am talking about, seeing is believing!
Let Me Hear You Scream up next, the only track to be played from the new album Scream, and in my opinion the best track on said album, a rip roaring anthemic song, with some intricate shredding by Gus. A great live track, this went down a storm!! Shame they didn't add Let It Die to the set list from the new album, with it's crushing heavy metal guitar solo, that would have been one to see.
Then we are back into familiar territory again, a safe typical Ozzy set, with back catalogue Ozzy / Black Sabbath classics and a few rarities to spice things up a bit, all delivered with faultless ability by Gus, looking relaxed and happy to be at Ozzy's side, and proving he is worthy of that desirable position. Zakk who!!?? Ozzy sounded great too, after recent reports from his earlier shows and speculation about lip syncing, I was pleasantly surprised to see and hear that Ozzy was singing totally live. Up to his usual antics of water throwing, even trying to douse Lady Osbourne at one point on the balcony, but missing and drenching the crowd below, he looked like he was having a blast! Two security guards also got a bucket of water over their heads. All good fun! I did think Ozzy looked slightly frail though, I hope he can make it through his 18 month world tour!!!!
The great surprise of the evening for me was Gus' seven minute solo, starting with a few minutes of vocoder it then slowly merged into a full blown shred fest from Gus!! At this point, I was sitting mesmerized in my seat just transfixed at this amazing player, proving yet again he can stand alone with the giants, and I would go as far as to say, the most technically gifted guitarist Ozzy has had since Randy. A blistering drum solo from Tommy Clufetos (Rob Zombie) followed next, both Tommy and Blasko (also Rob Zombie) on base, blasted their way through the whole of Ozzy's set looking every inch 'LA' dudes, I can see how well they fit into Rob Zombie's outfit, both doing a storming job, very enjoyable to watch, their energy leaping out at you. Adam Wakeman on keyboards and second guitar, seemed to be the quiet one of the evening, not noticing him a great deal until the very end of the show!
As the evening drew to a close, Ozzy is called back for his well earned encore, the night ending with the ever popular and fan favourite Paranoid, to rapturous applause. The whole of the balcony on their feet at this point, with calls for Ozzy to come back for third helpings, sadly that wasn't to be. As the band all lined up to take a bow to even more rapturous applause, it is only now that I realize how tall Adam Wakeman is, he's a giant!! With a final "I Love You All from the Oz man, it was over... a good night's entertainment had been had by all!
Ozzy's homecoming gig had been a complete success, and I had achieved what I had set out to, which was to see Gus looking happy, ripping through the Ozzy and Black Sabbath classics with such ease, it was scary. He looked totally relaxed at Ozzy's side, and I am happy in the knowledge that he will also be continuing with his own band Firewind, performing a few shows of his own very soon, with a new album coming this fall.
01. Bark At The Moon
02. Let Me Hear You Scream
03. Mr. Crowley
04. I Don't Know
05. Fairies Wear Boots
05. Suicide Solution
06. Shot In The Dark
07. Guitar And Drum Solo
08. Into The Void
09. Iron Man
10. I Don't Want To Change The World
11. Crazy Train
12. Mama, I'm Coming Home