Sharon Osbourne will likely savor every moment of Black Sabbath’s performance this weekend at Lollapalooza at Grant Park in Chicago.

In the mid-’90s, Sharon tried to get her husband Ozzy Osbourne on the Lollapalooza tour (at that time, Lollapalooza was an alternative rock/hip-hop summer tour).  Apparently, the organizers of the festival said that Ozzy wouldn’t fit in on the bill. Sharon decided to start a metal-centric festival and launched Ozzfest.  That tour was the impetus behind Ozzy rejoining Black Sabbath in 1997.

This year, Sabbath make their Lollapalooza debut, alongside co-headliners Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jack White.  But where those three acts have been making the festival rounds this summer, Lollapalooza is Sabbath’s only U.S. show of 2012 (and the last of three that they’ve performed this year).

If you’re going, expect to hear the band’s three biggest radio tracks — that would be “Paranoid,” “War Pigs” and “Iron Man,” (all from their 1970 classic Paranoid) as well as other songs that laid the foundation for heavy metal music: “The Wizard,” “N.I.B.,” “Into The Void,” “Under The Sun,” “Sweet Leaf” and “Fairies Wear Boots,” along with a few rare tracks, (they performed “Dirty Women” at the U.K.’s Download Festival a few weeks ago).

The current lineup includes three founding members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band: guitarist and leader Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and of course, Ozzy Osbourne. Founding drummer Bill Ward is not currently working with the band, due to contractual disagreements. Oddly enough, Ward was also absent from the 1997 reunion tour, and was replaced by Ozzy’s drummer Mike Bordin.

This time around, they are using Ozzy’s current drummer, Tommy Clufetos who has been with Osbourne since 2009.  Apparently he’s working out well: at Sabbath’s recent U.K. show the band gave him his own drum solo.  After that show, Iommi posted to Facebook “special thanks to Tommy, we invited him to play and he was brilliant.” In a recent blog post, Butler said that Clufetos is a  “brilliant drummer and good bloke.”

Hopes are high that the band will be more active in 2013: they’ve been working on a new studio album with producer Rick Rubin (their first with Ozzy since 1978’s Never Say Die) and may tour.  All of their plans are reliant on Tony Iommi’s health: in January, he revealed that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma, and spent much of this year undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Black Sabbath’s Lollapalooza set is scheduled for Friday August 3 from 8:05 pm to 10:00 pm.

Brian Ives, CBS Local


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