First up on an evening of anticipation but also a hint of sadness was Rival Sons who have had the good fortune to be support on the whole The End tour dating back a year.
If I am honest I have seen them a couple of times and their retro rock does nothing for me and what should have been a blow the doors off support was a damp squib.
As show time approached the atmosphere built as we were about to witness the last ever show (on a lengthy tour/who knows?)from the band that invented Heavy Metal 49 years ago and playing the shows where they grew up was the only place to be on the planet.
For an hour and 45 minutes we were treated to a masterclass in riffs and words that have defined a genre for the last near 5 decades.
From our position on the barrier of the standing section(gold circle in front of us) we had a wonderful view with huge screens at the back of the stage portraying the show to every seat in the arena with superb sound and a huge lighting rig with plenty of pyro too.
Every song was a classic and the hairs on the back of the neck stood to attention most of the night as the riff meister Tony Iommi showed that at the age of 68 and having kicked cancer's ass he is till the greatest that there has ever been.His tone was superb and with the screens help we were treated to riff after riff heavy enough for continents to be built on.His extended solo on Dirty Women showed he can show any of the new day shredders a thing or two as his fingers danced across his guitar.Quite amazing.
To the far left of the stage was Geezer Butler on bass and again we are talking masterclass as he played a heavy duty rock that the band are made on.Again a treat to witness such a great player and alongside Iommi what a double act.
At the back doing his best Bill Ward impression was Tommy Clufetos on drums who keeps the band driving along but could have done without the near 8 minute solo.
Centre stage was Ozzy Osbourne who again is a living legend and vocally he was very good apart from the slow paced Hand Of Doom when he was a little croaky.He cajoled us to do our best vocally and clapping at every turn and spent the whole evening with a huge grin on his face and thanked us on many occasions.
I loved his quip of Are you having fun?Yes from the crowd
Do you want us to do it again?Yes again
Well we are not.Hilarious.
As Ozzy announced the band members as Tony Iommi's name was said the cheers took the roof off wow what a moment.
Every song was a highlight with the thought will they ever play it again giving every song an extra poignancy.
Watching the crowd as War Pigs started was amazing as fits reached to the sky and every word was sang at the band with unashamed gusto.
Last song of the set Children Of the Grave was played with hundreds of balloons released from the ceiling and then up and down they went for the next 10 minutes.
Only one song could end the end and Paranoid did just that with the sold out crowd a choir as confetti cannons went mad and the band played their classic for the last time.
The band took a well earned bow including off stage keyboardist Adam Wakeman(something they hadn't done before) as the crowd went nuts and then left wondering is that The End?
Ozzy says yes Iommi maybe only time will see but I for one am glad I saw them on what could be the last date ever from a true great band.