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ZZ TOP and BLACK SABBATH live reviews by Don S.

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What can you say, when you have seen two sensational good concerts in one week? Well, I call it ZZ TOP and BLACK SABBATH … and myself a lucky bastard!

ZZ Top played on a Saturday in Stuttgart and there were a couple of things that amazed me while seeing them live for the first time in my life:

First I was impressed that they looked the same as when I first knew them. It must be the beards. They have looked old even when they were young, and now the still do not look any older. And they are in a good shape, too. You could see it in their moves – smooth and elegant, not like old-people move, although Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard all in their 60-ies now. Especially Billy Gibbons (besides … I never before realized how tall this guy is!) seemed astonishingly fit. And as good as their appearance was their music: Great voices and powerful sound … fresh’n’hard. I appreciated that they did not play one ballad nor one of the cheesier pop-like songs they could have done. Sure the big hits like “Give Me All Your Lovin’”, “Sharp Dressed Man”, “Legs” and “Tush” have been part of the show, but all was pure rock and blues-rock with a little more hardness than you may know it from CDs or radio.

Also amazing was their presence on stage. They for sure are minimalists: Black hats, beards, sunglasses, guitar, bass, drums and two screens standing behind them on stage, showing girls and cars – that’s all they needed and it was enough to keep 7500 fans in the Schleyer-Halle focused on the stage for one and a half hours like it was the biggest production in the world.

A great experience, that I doubted could be surpassed by Ozzy and his Black Sabbath who played five days later at the same place … Man, I was so wrong!

I have heard good things from the gigs before Black Sabbath came to Stuttgart, but I wasn’t sure. Many people I thought may worship the Prince of Darkness too much to have a clear view on it. But what Ozzy showed there was the proof: He still is and will forever be the fu***ing Prince of Darkness.

In front of a packed house he played a full two hour gig and his voice did not crack. Honestly … from the beginning to the end I swear he got better and better, to reach his full potential with “Dirty Woman”, “Children Of The Grave” and – finally as encore – “Paranoid”.

Black Sabbath started the concert with “War Pigs”, followed by “Into The Void” and they played a lot of songs from their recent album “13”, the first studio-album with Ozzy in 35 years. They mixed in the classics … and they added random songs to the set list, just … because they are Black Sabbath and can do it … and because you could see how much fun Ozzy and the guys had there on stage! They wanted to play … and the audience wanted them to play! What a metal and hard-rock fest!!!

A special word shall be given here to Tommy Clufetos. I do not know why the tour-drummer of Black Sabbath (he also played with Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper and others) wasn’t chosen for the album – but live this man is an animal at the drums. Hard, harder … fast, faster and a big show-man. Drum solos sometimes can be loooooong. But he drove the audience into madness!

An unforgettable show. So I hope you to enjoy the pics of these two tremendously legendary concerts I have seen and want you to be part of it by clicking through my photos.

I also would like to show you some pics from Soundgarden who supported Black Sabbath this evening, but their photo-contract (some outrageous thing that no healthy-minded photographer can really sign … maybe meant as a joke or satire, but you never know …) made it impossible to show anything . But even with that in mind I will be fair and come up with a fitting review of their gig … wait … here it comes … they played.

Don S.

 

Photos of ZZ Top:

 

 

Photos of Black Sabbath

 

 

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