There was heavy metal magic in the air on Thursday night when the boys of Black Sabbath brought Abu Dhabi into their twisted world of darkness. 
For the nearly 9,000 fans that showed up to watch their heroes perform for the first, and possibly last, time in the Middle East, it was a concert of incomparable scale. Meeting all expectations and possibly surpassing them - from Ozzy Osbourne’s legendary showmanship to Tony Iommi’s and Geezer Butler’s epic guitar riffs - the grounds at Yas Island shook with the sounds of music thunder.
When the trio took to the stage they brought with them six decades of hits, managing to work the crowds with the same level of intense passion that they had in their youth.
With young American drummer Tommy Clufetos rounding out the group, it was evident that few other local shows have been driven by the type of fierce loyalty and energy that Sabbath fans invested on this historic night. Those included Dubai-based progressive rockers Anurzym who won the dream slot to open up for the iconic band .
The set list for the night catered to Sabbath’s diehard followers and included hits from their many albums including last year’s 13, which the band is touring in support of.
Song favourites like Snowblind, Age of Reason and Clufetos’ headbanging drum solo had fans begging for an encore performance, leaving the band to close with their signature ‘70s hit, Paranoid.
Black Sabbath’s influence on rock music should never be overstated.
Thanks to their presence in the region, we can only hope that many of the young musicians in the crowd were left inspired to carry on the heavy metal torch.