What was the final song Black Sabbath performed live?

Few musical acts have the rare opportunity to orchestrate a farewell that aligns with their vision and allows them to savor every moment of their final performance. Black Sabbath, however, stands as a remarkable exception to the norm. In 2017, the legendary band bid adieu in the way they had always envisioned, culminating their journey with a poignant final show in Birmingham.

The realm of rock music is fraught with uncertainty, with many bands meeting premature ends due to creative conflicts, irreconcilable differences, or, in tragic instances, unforeseen calamities. Black Sabbath, however, defied this trend by embarking on an extensive global tour that reached its zenith in Birmingham at the Genting Arena on February 7th, 2017.

The atmosphere within the venue was charged with the awareness that this performance marked the definitive conclusion of Black Sabbath’s stage presence. Birmingham, the very birthplace where the band honed their craft, refined their distinctive sound, and hatched the blueprint for introducing heavy metal to the masses, provided the most fitting backdrop for their grand finale.

The setlist spanned their illustrious career, commencing with the opening track from their eponymous debut album. As the band exited the stage, the haunting strains of ‘Zeitgeist’ from their final record, “13,” lingered in the air. The last live song they bestowed upon the Birmingham audience was none other than their iconic anthem, ‘Paranoid.’

Choosing ‘Paranoid’ as the concluding piece ensured that their swansong resonated with a resounding impact, encapsulating the very essence of the band’s spirit. Frontman Ozzy Osbourne, who once proclaimed the track as his favorite creation from Black Sabbath and dubbed it “my anthem,” articulated the sentiment behind this strategic selection.

Reflecting on the final show, later immortalized in a concert film, Osbourne confided to Kerrang: “The weird thing about that last Sabbath gig was, we ended up where we started all those years ago – Birmingham. How can I say it? It was kind of emotional for me.” He mused on the unforeseen success and enduring legacy of the band, acknowledging the surreal journey from four lads in Birmingham to folk heroes.

While Osbourne admitted to grappling with the reality that there would be no more Black Sabbath performances, he also recognized the need to temper his emotions on that day. As the band’s members are all still alive, the prospect of a reunion remains elusive, primarily due to Osbourne’s health challenges. Nevertheless, there is a consensus that attempting to recreate the magic of their final Birmingham show could risk diminishing the pristine farewell that allowed Black Sabbath to bow out on an impeccable note.

Experience the emotional resonance of Black Sabbath’s final performance with their iconic anthem ‘Paranoid’ in the video below.

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