BLACK SABBATH w/ ROB HALFORD – Robbed In New Jersey / Ozzfest 2004 (Japan release Remastered 2021)

BLACK SABBATH w/ ROB HALFORD - Robbed In New Jersey / Ozzfest 2004 (Japan Remastered 2021) - full

Bill Ward had just delivered a downer to the 25,000 members of Ozzfest Nation, some of whom had been at the annual metal-thon all day – Ozzy would not be performing with BLACK SABBATH at the show due to an attack of bronchitis.
Enter ROB HALFORD, a true original metal messiah who had helped his pals out back in ’92 when Dio failed to show at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa. Once again, Halford came to the rescue and also brought a full tank of authenticity to the event being more than just familiar with the SABBATH songbook.
This historic show joining two Metal legends – BLACK SABBATH w/ ROB HALFORD of Judas Priest – has been released on CD by Japanese specialized label Alive The Live!, with a fine sound quality.
It’s fun listening to Sabbath classic line up (Iommi / Geezer / Ward) with Halford singing classics such as ‘War Pigs’, ‘Iron Man’, ‘Paranoid’ etc. At places doesn’t reach the mark at all, but that’s part of the charm of this recording / show.

In November 1992, Ozzy Osbourne was about to wrap up his supposedly final concert tour in support of the massively successful No More Tears album. Two “farewell” shows were scheduled at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, California. To make these “retirement concerts into an even bigger must-see event, the Osbourne camp reached out to Ozzy’s former band, Black Sabbath, with an offer to open the Costa Mesa shows.
At the time, Sabbath was touring in support of 1992’s Dehumanizer album, which featured the return of vocalist Ronnie James Dio—the man who’d replaced Ozzy in 1980. Everybody thought this was a fabulous idea —except Dio, who suspected that the invite was merely a backdoor method to plant the seeds for a reunion with Osbourne.

Dio refused to do the shows and announced that he was leaving Black Sabbath for the second time. In desperation, Sabbath’s Tony lommi reached out to a fellow son of Birmingham to replace Dio for the two gigs: Rob Halford of Judas Priest fame.
Rob was a free agent at the time, having split from Priest the previous year. He was also a massive Black Sabbath fan, so naturally he jumped at the chance to be their temporary front man. Legend has it that Rob only had two days to familiarize himself with Sabbath’s set list prior to the gigs.

Amazingly, Halford’s association with Black Sabbath wasn’t quite over yet. Judas Priest was taking part in the 2004 OzzFest tour, headlined by an Ozzy-fronted Black Sabbath, when Ozzy came down with a bout of bronchitis at the Camden, New Jersey date.
Rob was asked to step in for Sabbath once again, and even though he had already performed a full set with Judas Priest that day, he was still able to belt out an additional set of classics with Sabbath that night.

Rob Halford: “That was a remarkable moment in itself. I mean, that just came out of the blue one day. It was the day after my birthday, actually. I was in Philadelphia and we had a show that evening in New Jersey. And I got a call from Sharon (Osbourne). And I thought she was calling me to say, “Did you get the gift that Ozzy and myself sent you?’ which was like this really beautiful hand-made luggage with, like, skulls and crossbones all over it — typical Osbourne material.

But then she said Ozzy wasn’t feeling too good and he got a really bad case of bronchitis and he couldn’t sing, so “Can you help us out?’ And I said, ‘Sure, what do you want me to do?’ ‘Well, can you sing tonight?’ ‘You’re kidding me!’ I’m about two hours away from a PRIEST show. And she said; “We really need your help, because if we can’t have you kind of helping out, stepping in for Ozzy, then SABBATH will have to cancel,’ which would have been nothing short of a riot had that happened.
So I said to Sharon, ‘It’s a bit short notice, but send me a tape of everything that they do’ — I’d seen most of the shows standing on the side of the stage, being the BLACK SABBATH fan that I am — but she sent me a video of the performance and I was singing along with Ozzy in the back of the tour bus going to the show.

Got off the bus, did the PRIEST show, took a shower, and 10 minutes later I was back out fronting SABBATH. And it was such a whirlwind. I mean, I got back to the hotel room that night and my whole body was, like, humming. Like it was this (makes buzzing noise) going on for two days.
As I said, being a huge BLACK SABBATH fan, it was just an ultimate moment for me. But yeah, you do what you can. I mean, Ozzy and I, we’re mates. We’ve known each other forever, we’re from the same neighborhood in Birmingham. The originators of metal are SABBATH and PRIEST, so it was a spectacular evening.”

Ward extended Ozzy’s regrets and explained to the crowd how Halford, the band’s ‘old mate’ from Birmingham, England, would be filling in, and profanely proclaimed several times how SABBATH would play as hard as possible.
The swelling chorus of boos, obscene gestures, and flying plastic cups indicated the crowd wasn’t having it. Probably because the phrase ‘refunds can be obtained at point of purchase’ was absent from Ward’s spiel.
But minutes later, the voice of reason arrived via Halford: piercing, steely, and aiming to save the day. The first words: “Generals gathered in their masses…’ Halford — whose reunited PRIEST preceded SABBATH with a galvanizing set – was leading the Sabs on their 1971 warmonger indictment, ”War Pigs”.

Unlike with Ozzy, however, his voice rarely wavered in pitch. Most songs were played in a lower tuning to accommodate Osbourne’s diminished vocal range, but Halford could have easily handled them in the original key.
Tony Iommi: “One thing that sticks in my mind was the day in New Jersey when Ozzy couldn’t perform so we had Rob Halford sing, which was the second time he saved the day for us. At first we were worried, because people expect Ozzy, but if Rob hadn’t helped us out, there wouldn’t have been a show at all.
When our manager told me Ozzy had bronchitis and couldn’t sing, he asked me what I thought about Rob doing it. I said, I think it’s a good idea as long as you tell everybody beforehand so they know.’ Of course, they told the audience right before we went onstage, so I thought, “Oh, no.’ But the crowd received him really well.”

You’ve seen it first at 0dayrox


Black Sabbath ブラックサバス / Ozzfest 2004 輸入盤 〔CD〕
Alive The Live / 発売国:Japan (国内盤仕様) / 商品番号:IACD-10619

01 – War Pigs
02 – N.I.B.
03 – Fairies Wear Boots
04 – Into The Void
05 – Black Sabbath
06 – Iron Man
07 – Children Of The Grave
08 – Paranoid

Rob Halford – vocals
Tonny Iommi – guitar
Geezer Butler – bass
Bill Ward – drums



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