Black Sabbath

Copenhell - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

So, it had come to this. The mother of all headliners. The big cheese. Black motherfucking Sabbath.
It was so impressive that Copenhell had managed to get hold of them, and having them as the main act of the final day this year was such an obvious, yet brilliant decision. Honestly, they couldn’t have any other position than this.

“We love you all! Thank you for listening!”
- Ozzy Osbourne (vocals)

So, this was Black Sabbath. The Black Sabbath. The original heavy metal band. Or, as close to the original band as I imagine we’re ever going to get. John Michael ‘Ozzy’ Osbourne on vocals, Anthony Frank ‘Tony’ Iommi on guitar, Terence Michael Joseph ‘Geezer’ Butler on bass. Oh yeah, and then we had Tommy Clufetos on drums. No nickname.
So, the band was here, and so was the crowd. The entire crowd. I really don’t see anyone missing out on this show, not on purpose anyway, and I have honestly never seen such a large gathering at once at this festival before, and I can’t imagine what would create it later on either.
Giving us a great way into the special universe that is Black Sabbath, they opened the show with the self-titled song, from their self-titled debut album, and when that iconic tritonus riff rang loud and clear, we all knew we were in for something out of this world!
All the way through, this was a complete best of setlist from Black Sabbath. Not surprisingly, they skipped everything other than the Ozzy era of the band, but there are enough classics on those first eight albums to last us a lifetime!

So, the setlist couldn’t hurt us, but what about the performance?
I mean, honestly, these men are no spring chickens, and especially Ozzy’s done so much crap that it’s a medical miracle that he’s even alive!
Still, the band did not try to dazzle us with a lot of flashy stuff. Sure, there was the videoscreen backdrop, but other than that, there were the classic amp racks, and the band. That’s it.
So, it was up to the band to keep us interested. Fair enough, they had a good head-start in just being who they are, but that wasn’t enough to last them all the way to the end.
To my positive surprise, that wasn’t all they had in them either. Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi didn’t move about much, but they were present, and you could feel them bringing the ever elusive it to the show. Ozzy, most surprisingly of all, was also as much on top of his game as he could – he spoke, cracked a few jokes, declared his love for us a hell of a lot of times, and moved about quite freely! In fact, I can’t remember seeing him in such good vigour before! That’s another medical miracle for you, I guess.
Clufetus, the only young man in the outfit, and ironically the only one sporting the ‘Seventies look, also got to shine. In general, he proved to be pretty wild, but it was truly his time in the spotlight, as the band reached Rat Salad, the instrumental track from the Paranoid album, which even has a built in drum solo section. And you know how much we love drum solos around these parts… Well, no we don’t, in case you missed that, but it did provide some indirect entertainment, as I could take my eyes away from the stage for a bit, and thus noticed an old, turban clad roadie try to pick up a couple of young blondes, with promises of letting them stand on the side of the stage, if they just followed him behind the curtain…

What went home with the crowd was the more regular songs however.
War Pigs (which I suppose the local Copenhagen brewery of the same name were happy they played) saw the crowd jumping and shouting, but it was far from the only song that grabbed us. Honestly, Black Sabbath is such an integral part of heavy metal, that we each and every one have their songs engraved on our blackened souls. These men have been around, playing for longer than at least 90% of us have even been alive!

So, yes. It’s not hard to understand why Black Sabbath had the position they were given. Nothing else could possibly do. And it’s not surprising that this ended up being the biggest show of the festival. How could it not be? I know I claimed earlier that Clawfinger was my favourite, but this so majestic, so unbelievably big, that I can’t, in good conscience, place Black Sabbath anywhere but on the top. So there.


Black Sabbath
Fairies Wear Boots
After Forever
Into The Void
War Pigs
Behind The Wall Of Sleep
Rat Salad
Iron Man
Dirty Women
Children Of The Grave

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