Black Sabbath’s 50-year career comes to a fitting hometown conclusion at the Genting Arena.

Over the last year, Rival Sons have accompanied the mighty Sabbath for the duration of “The End” tour. During this run, the band played 81 shows, across 26 countries and 4 continents to a combined crowd of in excess of a million people.

Rival Sons are currently on the road in support of their critically acclaimed latest album Hollow Bones and the Genting Arena in Birmingham is packed to the rafters to see the band kick off the proceedings on this the final night of Black Sabbath’s farewell tour.

Tonight, Rival Sons deliver an emotionally charged performance with a set which traverses their last four albums. The band takes to the stage with a triple whammy of “Electric Man”, “Secret” and old favorite “Pressure and Time”. Buchanan declares “We are Rival Sons and we play rock and roll”, and who could argue with that.

One thing which is immediately apparent is that Rival Sons are very comfortable in this arena setting and tonight the band are in the form of their lives. Frontman Jay Buchanan, who projects his powerful vocals into the cavernous Genting Arena, delivers a passionate performance. Scott Holiday is a master of guitar tone who comes complete with an arsenal of fuzz-fueled, vintage riffs and mind blowing slide licks that even the great Duane Allman would be proud of.

Mid-set the band shifts their focus towards their latest offering with the hard rocking “Tied Up” and a spellbinding rendition of “Fade Out”. The latter of which Buchanan dedicates to their dear friend Hunter Schwartz who sadly passed away recently.

The devastating rhythm section of powerhouse drummer Mike Miley and bass player Dave Beste is complimented by the keyboard play of Todd Ögren-Brooks. Rival Sons gel so well together and this is particularly the case during their epic performance of “Torture”. As the song plays out, it ebbs and flows into bluesy and trippy breakdowns, with each member of the band coming into their own. The song is one of the many standout moments of the set.

Rival Sons closes out their performance with “Keep On Swinging” and they appear to be humbled by the response they have received both tonight and throughout the course of this tour. This is not just from the fans but also from the Black Sabbath crew and the band themselves who they thank for taking them around the world on this landmark run.

Tonight may well mark “The End” of Black Sabbath, but it is comforting to know that there are bands like Rival Sons who will carry on the musical legacy that they have left behind. A torch has been passed.

Rival Sons
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Event Date: 04-FEB-2017

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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