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Black Sabbath/ Megadeth/ Machine Head

Date: 05/19/07
Venue: PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, New Jersey
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Black Sabbath setlist:

After All (The Dead)
The Mob Rules
Children of The Sea
Lady Evil
The Sign of The Southern Cross
The Devil Cried
Computer God
Falling Off The Edge of The World
Die Young
Shadow of the Wind
Heaven & Hell
Neon Knights

Megadeth setlist:

Wake Up Dead
Kick The Chair
Washington Is Next
Symphony of Destruction
Take No Prisoners
Tornado of Souls
Hanger 18
Peace Sells
Holy Wars/Mechanix medley

So after contending with the lovely rainy weather, then having to wait on line for my ticket to be exchanged from a refund to a real ticket??, I missed just about all of Machine Head’s thirty minute set. I only caught really the last song “Davidian” in its entirety and the band was tight and heavy.

After having just released a solid return to form you can say album “United Abominations” (which also debut on the Billboard Top 200 at #8) I was really looking forward to Megadeth’s set. I caught this latest incarnation of the band last year at Gigantour which features the Drover brothers Glenn and Shawn on guitar and drums respectively, joined by James Lomenzo (formerly from White Lion) on bass. As they opened up their set with “Sleepwalker” off “Abominations”, classic Deth in fashion speed metal riffs energized the crowd as if it were 1985 all over again. As you can see by their setlist it comprised of songs that either enticed the headbanger (“Peace Sells”, “Symphony of Destruction”, “Wake up Dead”) or mosh pitter (“Take No Prisoners”, “Hanger 18”, “Holy Wars/Mechanix”) in you. I really like the new lineup, they play all the songs as they were initially recorded with no improvisation by Glenn on the guitar as he just tears it up, so does his brother. Actually with this lineup it brings a new energy and freshness to Megadeth and as players they are just tight as hell.

It was a full on assault and I was hoping for more when they left the stage.

So if you noticed by how I listed this concert lineup this is Black Sabbath, also known as Heaven and Hell for legal reasons, but I choose to call it Black Sabbath cause it is what it is. If you look at the albums “Heaven and Hell”, “Mob Rules”, and “Dehumanizer” the band name is Black Sabbath. And if you didn’t know already Ronnie James Dio is on vocals for this version of the band and he appears on all three previously said records. Recently his time in Sabbath has been properly accounted for on the release Black Sabbath “The Dio Years” which contains three new songs among the classics.

With the overwhelming response from both fans and critics to this reformation of the band working together again for the compilation album, a tour was inevitable and has been more than successful.

The stage for this reunion tour was classic 1980’s Sabbath in design with the inside of a gothic church serving as the main backdrop highlighted by some projection imagery, glowing torches, stain glass window archways, and an iron fence. All songs from the setlist can be found on “The Dio Years” compilation with classics being “Heaven and hell”, “Neon Nights”, “Children of the Sea”, “Sign of the Southern Cross” (which is oddly enough not included on the said disc), “The Mob Rules”, “Voodoo” and “I”. They also played two new songs “The Devil Cried” and “Shadow of the Wind” which live up to their past nicely.

Ronnie James Dio (now has got to be pushing 60 years of age?) as usual sounds great at the mic maintaining a consistent tone and delivery, Tony Iommi is the heavy metal riff master what more can I really say there, joined by Geezer Butler on bass serving as Tony’s right hand man making those riffs as heavy as they should be, add Vinny Appice on the drums and you have the classic lineup from MK II of Sabbath. This version of the band is where they really defined a heavy metal sound and the established something classic within the world of metal music.

If you question my observations then you need to attend a (Heaven and Hell) show when the crowd begins to sing a long to the melody of the title track to “Heaven and Hell” followed by the chorus and then you may understand the importance of this version of Black Sabbath. Its great once again to have this part of Heavy Metal history celebrated, especially for all the younger kids ( I wonder if they actually do appreciate the music as much as those who grew up with it) I saw in the audience attending metal school 101, the Black Sabbath chapter.

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