Epic Save: When Judas Priest’s Rob Halford Sang for Black Sabbath
The year was 1992 and, just like today, Ozzy Osbourne was on a farewell tour. The trek supporting 1991's smash success, No More Tears, was dubbed "No More Tours" and the Prince of Darkness declared that Nov. 15 would be his last performance. To celebrate this finality, Black Sabbath were booked as the opener, but Ronnie James Dio took the invite as an insult and promptly left Sabbath once more. Enter Rob Halford, who had just exited Judas Priest a few months earlier.
The concert was held at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, California with further support coming from Brazil's Sepultura, who had released the death-thrash gem Arise a year earlier. Sabbath's performance with Halford was captured in full by a fan and can be seen in the video above.
The hour-long set included tracks from both the Dio and Ozzy eras of the band, leaning heavily on the Master of Reality album for the Ozzy material. Check out the set list, along with the timestamps at which each song starts in the video, below.
1. "The Mob Rules" (00:56)
2. "Children of the Grave" (04:21)
3. "Children of the Sea" (09:21)
4. "Symptom of the Universe" (16:28)
5. "N.I.B." (23:07)
6. "Die Young" (29:02)
7. "Into the Void" (31:39)
8. "Heaven and Hell" (40:57)
9. "Sweet Leaf" (51:00)
10. "Neon Knights" (54:11)
Halford, who was 41 years old at the time, handled both eras of the Black Sabbath material in convincing fashion, almost as if some songs were written with his voice in mind. For fans, it was among the rarest of instances where a "what if?" fantasy scenario became reality.
It would be another 12 years before the Metal God was called upon once again. At an Aug. 26, 2004 Ozzfest show, Ozzy was diagnosed with bronchitis, which prevented him from performing. With Judas Priest (recently reunited with Halford) on the bill, Halford reprised his brief role in Camden, New Jersey. View that footage below.
Black Sabbath With Rob Halford in 2004