Black Sabbath – Jim Marshall Stage (Main Stage) – Sunday 21:00 – 22:45
Black Sabbath. Donington Park. Read those words again. Yes, you read that right, the band that created metal and the spiritual home of it, together once again, and I was there to witness it.
I’ve had so many incredible moments at Donington Park, the first time I ever saw Iron Maiden at the age of 17 was here, seeing my favourite band Slipknot headline to 80,000 people in 2009, and countless more. Now, finally, here I stand on this hallowed ground and I’m fortunate enough to say that I am going to be able to witness with my own two eyes the very band that made all of that possible, perform. There are no words in the English dictionary or any other dictionary for that matter that can sum up how I feel.
As day begins to turn to night and dark clouds form overhead. It’s the perfect setting for what will surely be the most talked about set of the entire weekend. We are treated to short video on the history of Black Sabbath (as if we need reminding) before the familiar sound of rain signals the arrival of the band that changed everything. Black Sabbath, there in the flesh playing their namesake song, and the crowd goes into a frenzy.
On first impressions, the band looks to be revitalised and on amazing form, Tony Iommi especially looks to be in good health which is comforting given his current situation. Ozzy is in good voice, and appears more up for it than he has in a long while, whereas Geezer Butler appears to still have the fastest bass playing fingers in the known universe.
Say what you will about Black Sabbath, whether it being about their age, the quality of previous reunions, the Bill Ward saga, one thing always rings true, you cannot fuck with those songs man, and tonight they roll out all the classics, tracks like ‘Into the Void’, ‘Snowblind’ ‘Children of the Grave’ and ‘N.I.B,’ still crush at least 80 percent of anything that’s being made by bands in today’s musical climate. ‘Iron Man’ still has the greatest sing-a-long riff in all of musical history, whereas ‘War Pigs’ and ‘Paranoid’ obviously speak for themselves.
No matter which way you slice it, Black Sabbath invented heavy metal, every single band you like, loves Black Sabbath, they are the reason you are able to enjoy the genre you hold so dear and they still kick ass like no other band on the planet.
Tonight’s headline slot by Black Sabbath is a celebration of everything that we hold dear about our culture, and our music and serves as a timely reminder of why we all sold our souls for rock and roll, no gimmicks, no tricks just the greatest heavy metal band of all time rolling out some of the greatest songs ever written in a field with a 100,000 of their closest friends, it’s a special moment for all concerned and something that I will never ever forget…
Black Sabbath Download 2012 setlist:
Behind The Wall Of Sleep
Into The Void
Under The Sun
Symptom Of The Universe
Fairies Wear Boots
Children Of The Grave
Photograph by Andrew Whitton Photography