What’s On hears from Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne as the band prepare to play hits such as Paranoid, Iron Man and Never Say Die at Abu Dhabi.

– Black Sabbath interview
UAE rock scene

Legendary British metal outfit Black Sabbath arrived in Abu Dhabi earlier this week for their gig at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island on Thursday, and it’s not taken the band long to realise it’s going to be a very different kind of show for one reason in particular – the UAE’s sweltering weather.

“I’m never going to complain about being cold again,” front man Ozzy Osbourne joked yesterday a press conference for tonight’s show. “Since we’ve been here, I’ve just been sleeping, waking, sleeping, waking – and staying indoors because it’s so hot.”

Playing in this kind of heat isn’t the only first for the band tonight. It’s also their first-ever show in the UAE.

“I never realised the Middle East liked our kind of music,” said Ozzy. “It’s going to be interesting, I don’t know what to expect, because it’s the first time we’ve played here. I’m going up on stage with the same attitude I always have. It’s great playing in a city we’ve never been to before. You’ll be able to tell by the length of the set. If it’s going downhill, it’ll be very short.”

The band have released 19 albums since forming in Aston, England in 1968, meaning choosing a setlist for tonight’s gig is also a challenge. “We’ve got so much material we’re never going to please everyone,” said Ozzy. “We try and do a bit of each album but even that’s hard choosing which ones to play,” added Ozzy’s bandmate Tony Iommi.

A new venue and a new audience means a few nerves for the rockers, too, even though they’ve been performing for more than 50 years.

“It’s always a bit nerve wracking, especially when you start a tour. It’s a bit nervy but excting,” said Tony. Ozzy though doesn’t think it’ll be a big issue tonight. “Once you’re on stage, it’s like a magic hits you, you just get on with it.”

But one thing you won’t see the band doing before the gig is jumping on the rides at one of Yas Island’s theme parks like Ferrari World before the gig.

“My life’s been a rollercoaster,” said Ozzy. “So probably not, no.”

Du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Thur 7pm to 11pm, Dhs295-795. Tel: (800 86823. Taxi: Du Arena, Yas Island. thinkflash.ae