Original members of Birmingham, England's heavy metal pioneers BLACK SABBATH returned to the city for two sell-out concerts. With the exception of one "intimate" homecoming show the band played at Birmingham Academy on May 19, 2012, the dates at Birmingham's LG Arena (December 20) and National Indoor Arena (December 22) marked the first time the trio had played together in the city since May 2005. Fans from as far as Australia travelled to the concerts, with many queuing outside the venues for 12 hours before the shows began. Bassist Geezer Butler and lead guitarist Tony Iommi, who formed the band with singer Ozzy Osbourne in 1968, said Birmingham gigs are always the "most nerve-wracking" to play. Check out a BBC report below.
Fan-filmed video footage of BLACK SABBATH's December 22 concert at National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England can be seen below.
The band's setlist was as follows:
01. War Pigs
02. Into The Void
03. Under The Sun / Every Day Comes And Goes
05. Age Of Reason
06. Black Sabbath
07. Behind The Wall Of Sleep
09. End Of The Beginning
10. Fairies Wear Boots
11. Rat Salad
12. Tommy Clufetos Drum Solo
13. Iron Man
14. God Is Dead?
15. Dirty Women
16. Children Of The Grave
According to The Pulse Of Radio, BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi is not sure if making a follow-up to this year's reunion album, "13", would be a good idea for the group. Iommi said in Revolver magazine, "I don't know if that would be an anticlimax if we wrote another album. I'd like to, but we haven't actually spoken about it, you know? I don't know if that would be a good idea after this one, because this one's done so well. I'm sure we'd all like to do one. But I don't know. Maybe I should talk to the others about it."
Bassist Geezer Butler added, "I really haven't thought about it. I'm just glad that we made this one. It can't be something where you go in and go, 'Well, that one was No. 1, so let's do another No. 1 album.' I think we'll know if we can do it or if we can't. If we have to force it, then we won't be doing it."
"13", the first SABBATH album in 35 years to feature Iommi, Butler and singer Ozzy Osbourne recording together, went No. 1 around the world, earning the band their first chart-topper ever in the U.S.
Ozzy said about the prospects of making another record, "I don't want to say there's going to be another album, because I don't want you to ask me in another year, 'What happened when you said you were going to do another record?' I'll leave it open. I'm open for anything. I have three albums to deliver of my own solo thing to my record label."
Ozzy added, "We'll all still be doing music. It's been a lot of fun doing it with BLACK SABBATH, and I'm not sorry at all for getting back together."
The making of "13" was marked by several dramatic events, including drummer Bill Ward's withdrawal from the project over a contractual dispute and Iommi's cancer diagnosis.
Butler told Revolver that he started writing a song for "13", called "Hanging By A Thread", that was inspired by Iommi's illness. He explained, "It was very much about dying, about giving your last breath and passing your spirit on." But the track didn't make it onto the album because, Butler said, "We never came up with the finished thing."
BLACK SABBATH will return to North America in 2014 for 10 shows that will be among the last in support of "13".
Fan-filmed performance footage (December 22 at National Indoor Arena):