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Black Sabbath, Black Keys Light Up Day One of Lollapalooza 2012

Ozzy Osbourne
Dave Mead/Lollapalooza

Day One of Lollapalooza 2012 came to a close thanks to a double dose of Black. The reunited Black Sabbath (minus drummer Bill Ward) and The Black Keys made sure rock and roll was the last thing festival goers heard on Friday night (August 3).

Black Sabbath took over the Bud Light stage at Grant Park in Chicago for a blistering two-hour set. Despite being 63-years-old and not in the best of mental shape, frontman Ozzy Osbourne possessed an impressive display of intensity. Those who went to Osbourne’s solo show at Van Andel Arena in December of 2010 can attest to that fact. ”F—in’ A, man! Let me hear you!” screamed the Prince of Darkness.

Black Sabbath’s only U.S. appearance this year was a memorable one. The metal icons kicked of their performance with ”Black Sabbath,” “The Wizard,” “Behind the Wall of Sleep” and “N.I.B.” Despite Ward not participating in the reunion over a contract dispute, touring drummer Tommy Clufetos did an admirable job filling in behind the kit. Guitarist Tony Iommi, who is currently battling cancer and as Ozzy referred to him “the true Iron Man,” is still as sharp as ever. Bassist Geezer Butler maintained the backbone of the classic Sabbath tracks along with Clufetos, and oozed badass-ness as he was plucking away the intro of “War Pigs.”

On the other end of Grant Park were The Black Keys, delivering their raw blues rock to an estimated 60,000 people. As with the Grand Rapids Ozzy show, those who went to see The Black Keys at Van Andel Arena this past March would know what to expect here. 2012 marks the fifth time frontman Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney have appeared at Lollapalooza. Now big enough to headline their own night, The Black Keys were even introduced by Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. The duo mixed up their set with old and new favorites quite nicely. Classics like “Same Old Thing” and “Strange Times” shared the stage with cuts from the Black Keys’ most recent album, El Camino.

The Akron, OH natives went back to the past when they were just a guitar and drums act. “We’re going to play just the two of us now,” Auerbach informed the crowd before transitioning into tracks like “Thickfreakness” and “Your Touch.”

Sadly, nothing has been confirmed about Black Sabbath and The Black Keys forming a supergroup. We can only hope.

Follow Dave Kim on Twitter and Tumblr.

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