Black Sabbath have been hailed as “the founders of a genre of music that will never die” after an emotional farewell show in their native Birmingham.
The End Tour began in North America in January 2016, progressing to Australia and New Zealand. It hit Europe last summer for shows including a headlining slot at Download Festival, before moving back to the US and on to Mexico and South America.
The tour restarted in Germany in January, ahead of a sold-out, eight-date UK and Ireland jaunt, which climaxed with the second of two nights at the Genting Arena on February 4.
“The tour has gone brilliantly,” their longtime booking agent, ITB’s Rod MacSween, told Music Week. “The biggest considerations were to put on great shows and satisfy the demand for tickets. All shows sold out.”
MacSween said it was “crucial and very emotional” for Black Sabbath to finish where it started in their hometown of Birmingham.
“They are the founders of a genre of music that will never die,” he added.
Live Nation promoter Andy Copping added: “I have been lucky enough to work with the Sabbath camp for a number of years and they have not changed as people throughout all that time.
“Obviously, it has been a very emotional time doing this tour with it being the last ever shows. We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Black Sabbath are without doubt the forefathers of the heavy metal sound.
All metal acts owe a debt to Black Sabbath for creating the genre - Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, Queens Of The Stone Age, Nirvana and Mot?rhead, to name just a few.”
Commemorative Birmingham-themed Sabbath merchandise was created for the final show, helping the band smash the venue’s merchandise record.
“It was more than just a show, it was an occasion,” said NEC Group arenas general manager Guy Dunstan. “People came from all over the world - Brazil, Japan, Australia - it was a special night and we felt honoured and proud to be part of it.
“Black Sabbath began in Birmingham 49 years ago and have kept that connection with the city ever since, so it meant a lot to them to finish the tour in Birmingham.
They started a new genre that is here forever, as far as I can see. We’ve got a lot to be grateful to them for as an industry and it’s great that they’ve kept the grounding in terms of their commitment to the city and to the community as well.”
Despite their touring days coming to an end, the Ozzy Osbourne-fronted band’s guitarist Tony Iommi has hinted the band will continue to record music together.
Black Sabbath had a UK chart-topper as recently as 2013 with their 19th studio album 13, which has shifted 129,399 units to date, according to the Official Charts Company.