It was June 9, 1989 when I saw Black Sabbath at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. This was the Headless Cross tour, the group consisting of Tony Iommi (the only original member), Tony Martin, Neil Murray, Cozy Powell, and Geoff Nichols. The opening bands were Silent Rage and Kingdom Come, who were given the unflattering moniker of Kingdom Clone because music fans thought their sound resembled Led Zeppelin a little too much.
I was 15 years old and accompanied by my big brother who would have been 27. The group had trouble with their sound system, and the weather outside could be heard over everything. The show continued with no power outages and I experienced my first rock concert. I was also treated to my first bad case of what I call concert ear, where everything sounds underwater when you leave the event. I became a huge fan of ear plugs after a handful of loud shows.
The following day’s newspaper confirmed what we had seen but not mentioned. On the way to the venue, the sky filled with ominous black clouds, we spotted a funnel cloud. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in the car who saw it, but no one acknowledged it. It didn’t seem real. A rare tornado touched down in nearby Camden County, contributing to the faulty sound system the night before. My brother and I would see the original Black Sabbath lineup in 1999, but that time we were free from tornadoes.
What was your first rock concert?