Live Reviews: Black Sabbatha

The Last Call   Tarzana, CA
Web: blacksabbatha.com
Contact: Jim, 661-305-7971
Players: Lisa o’Neal (Sabbatha), vocals; Jim Manzo (Skull Butler), bass; Jimmy Silcox (Skull Iommi), guitar; Francisco Zamudio (BoneZ Ward), drums                   

Material: Black Sabbatha is a tribute band playing all Black Sabbath tunes, including material from the Dio era. All the fan favorites are played. From “Paranoid” to “Lady Evil,” to “N.I.B.” to “The Wizard,” Black Sabbatha and the band play everything to the original specifications. It’s a little unnerving when you think of Black Sabbath being sung by a female, but when the vocals are spot-on and the band is clicking like clockwork, everything comes together ever so nicely. 

Musicianship: Black Sabbatha came out ready to play; and play they did. The music, reproduced almost note for note, is handled with care. Silcox is a superb axe man as he spreads his aura to the benefit of the other band members. The dexterity he has in his fingers is amazing as he slides his hand up and down the fretboard with a relaxed ease. Manzo is a great player as he graciously holds down the bass so O’Neal can paint on the canvas of his low-end and bottom frequency. 

Performance: The set was outstanding, to say the least. Sabbatha fired on all cylinders. From the very beginning, O’Neal came out singing in superb fashion, and did not let up. Such energy and purpose has never been seen at The Last Call. Completely engaged with the audience, O’Neal confidently strutted through the crowd, asserting her right to be called, “Queen of the Night!”

Summary: Black Sabbath was considered one of the first jam bands to come out of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and so Sabbatha came out throwing fire with some of their own jams. Who was behind the jams, you ask? It was Zamudio behind the drum kit. The unsung hero of the night! He held it together for everyone as he would solo in the middle of a song, while playing the song and not skipping a beat. One of the best time-keeping performances witnessed at The Last Call to date. Black Sabbatha was seriously so much fun to sit through. It was all you could do to stand up and sing along to all the tunes.

 – Pierce Brochetti