Sabbath In Loud Park 2007 Osaka (Tarantura TCDH&H-2)
Osaka -Jo Hall, Osaka, Japan – October 23, 2007
(64:40) E5150, The Mob Rules, Children Of The Sea, I, Voodoo, Drum Solo, Falling Off The Edge Of The World, Guitar Solo, Die Young, Heaven and Hell, SE / Tape
Heaven and Hell played a short four date Japanese tour in the fall of 2007 hot on the heels of the critically and commercial successful reunion tour. Osaka was the third date of the tour and since it was a festival date the band played a shorter set dropping The Sign of the Southern Cross and Computer God.
The recording featured here is an excellent, well balanced audience recording and a pleasure to listen to. The exciting thing about this recording and release is the fact the Heaven and Hell only played this brief tour of Japan so this is the second to last time Ronnie James Dio performed for the people of Japan and it is great to have such a wonderful sounding document from the tour.
The band is in fine form, and although it is their second reunion since they originally disbanded in 1982 the hatchet has been buried and they are obviously enjoying each other and playing the music from the Dio era.
The recording starts with the instrumental (as always) E5150 that leads into the band hitting the stage in full stride with The Mob Rules. The obvious pick for an opener the song has a great fast pace, Ronnie has no problems with the vocals, at age 65 he is still of strong voice and his passion for music shines through.
The band plows through a standard Children of the Sea that after wards has a crazed member of the audience screaming “GEEZER……GEEZER….” in adoration of his hero. I has no real introduction save for the dry sterile mechanical like intro from Tony Iommi that fits with the songs brutal nature. For me this was a set highlight when I saw the band, Ronnie spews the lyrics out with a venom, tonight is no different, he is very comfortable with the song and vocally improvises through out, Iommi rips the solo with help from his Wah pedal then effortlessly goes into the main riff without missing a beat.
Dio thanks the crowd and starts a joke “Did you hear the one about this guy who that goes…the duck”, not sure what he was referring too and neither does the audience as it goes right over their heads. He introduces Voodoo with a brief explanation of dolls and pins with the crowd completely silent but as soon as the song is announced they cheer loudly in anticipation. The song live is very similar to the one that appeared on Live Evil save for a Dio / Iommi scream and answer improvisation at the end that very cool to hear that leads into the Vinnie Appice drum solo.
After a five minute drum solo from Mr. Appice the band returns for the centerpiece of the evening, Falling Off The Edge Of The World. Long time Dio keyboard player Scott Warren plays the synth violin perfectly, the haunting effect coupled with Dio’s passionate vocals have you in an uneasy anticipation then Iommi rips into one of his heaviest riffs. Interesting song pattern starts here, the Armageddon style end of civilization of Falling Of The Edge Of The World into the freedoms of death in Die Young and the final judgement of Heaven and Hell. I love Die Young, a song I loved hearing every time I saw this band, it never fails to deliver and rocks from start to finish, Iommi plays it beautifully and Ronnie just soars vocally.
Heaven and Hell is epic in length, 15 minutes of heaviness. If by this time your volume level is not at 11 it needs to be. The sound is full is close to soundboard quality and during the slow improvisation section you can really appreciate how good this band is. Iommi plays a very bluesy solo before using his aforementioned wah pedal to great effect that finally leads into the echoed dreamlike section to great effect.
You can easily visualize Ronnie hunched over the red light sinning the “Big black shape looked up at me” section, the audience participation part is reduced to a short “HELL” right before the fast paced Spinning carousel section. The reprise section has Dio introduction “Tony Iommi…..Geezer Butler…..Vinnie Appice….and the Duck” and the band leaves the stage to a loud ovation from the crowd and the strains of Frank Sinatra play over the PA system.
The packaging is a simple gatefold adorned with full color shots of the band from the actual gig, something I think Tarantura does very well that completes the documentation of the event and recording, ties it all together nicely. This limited edition of 200 numbered copies is easily recommended to all Dio / Sabbath fans.