The end of the road for Black Sabbath will be in the same place where they began. The iconic rock band will finish off 49 years of performing next year, playing their final show ever in Birmingham, England — the town where they got their start.
The ultimate performance from the band was one of seven shows announced via a flier handed out at the Download festival, which Black Sabbath will headline this weekend. The last leg of the band’s farewell tour, appropriately titled The End Tour, will begin in January.
The band has long wanted to end their tour in their original hometown. As guitarist Tony Iommi said in an interview in March: “When we’re home where we started, we always find it a bit nerve-wracking. But Birmingham means such a lot to us. It would be nice to think it could finish where it all started, in Birmingham.”
As members of the band have gotten older, touring has become increasingly difficult for them, especially with increasing health concerns. Iommi himself battled lymphoma in 2013, and says the band just can’t deal with longer tours anymore.
“I just can’t keep going out on these long tours,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I still love gigging. It’s the traveling and the exhaustion that goes with it that’s the problem.”
The original Black Sabbath lineup, which included drummer Bill Ward, has already disbanded, with Ward quitting the group in 2012 before he was hospitalized with series of health issues the following year. The band’s final album, 2013’s 13, features Rage Against The Machine’s Brad Wilk on drums instead — no slouch of a substitute.
Tickets for the final string of shows will be announced next week, and given that they mark the historic final shows for one of the world’s all-time greatest rock bands, they will probably be going for a pretty penny. For more information, we recommend visiting the band’s website.