Ozzy Osbourne / Halford
Air Canada Centre, Toronto ON November 27
"I can't believe I've been doing this for 42 fucking years," Ozzy Osbourne exclaimed to an appreciative Toronto crowd -- some of whom looked as if they had been following his career for about the same length of time. Between the legendary frontman and opener, Judas Priest's Rob Halford, 83 years' worth of metal goodness was in full effect in the almost sold-out Air Canada Centre.
But despite Halford's incredible pipes, the Metal God's set fell a bit flat. The tracks performed from his latest, Halford IV: Made of Metal, were, yes, very "metal," but seemed lacklustre. Perhaps Halford knew this, and instead of keeping the set list full of tracks from his solo endeavours (he has enough to effortlessly perform a three-hour set), songs like "Made in Hell" and "Like There's No Tomorrow" were mixed with Priest classics such as "The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)" and the Joan Baez cover "Diamonds and Rust."
Technically, Osbourne is only three years older than Halford, but he commandeered the stage like a man half his age. While the audience patiently waited for his set to begin, Osbourne-injected vignettes from Jersey Shore, Twilight and Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video, as well as snippets from The Hangover and, of course, Iron Man 2 aired on the jumbo screen, in which Osbourne played up his legendary profane witticisms.
Backed with a tight and energetic band, the surprisingly svelte and lithe Osbourne performed a fantastic set of new songs from Scream ("Let Me Hear You Scream"), older solo hits ("Bark at the Moon, "Suicide Solution," "Crazy Train") and honed-to-perfection Black Sabbath material ("Faeries Wear Boots," "War Pigs). Aided by a teleprompter and the injection of youthfulness from his new protégé, guitarist Gus G (who could give former guitarist Zakk Wylde a run for his money), Osbourne had the wildly enthusiastic audience eating out of his hand, delivering a memorable night of no-frills classic metal.
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