There is no more appropriate day to celebrate a band whose occult themes and horror-inspired lyrics have rocked the heavy metal world since the 1960s than Friday the 13th.
The Atlantic and Hippodrome Theatre’s Black Sabbath tribute night and costume party will begin this Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. with a classic 1970s horror film at the Hippodrome and continue at The Atlantic with the kind of head-banging that originated with Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler themselves. The tribute band, which was put together by various artists around town solely for the event, has no name.
DJ Mike G will play ‘70s psych rock, metal and punk before and after the show, beginning at 9 p.m. at The Atlantic.
Though Black Sabbath’s lineup changed several times over the years, its core members always remained the same: Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and the notorious Ozzy Osbourne, who in 1979 was released from the band due to drug and alcohol abuse. He returned in 1997.
From their first single, “Evil Woman,” in 1969 to their final tour and disbandment on March 17 of this year, Black Sabbath’s legacy is marked by 70 million records sold and wide acknowledgment as one of the greatest metal band of all time.
This Friday is the second time Friday landed on the 13th in 2017, and the only one in October until 2023. To celebrate, owners of The Atlantic approached Jason Potak, cinema director at the Hippodrome, about supplementing their Black Sabbath tribute show with a horror film that complemented the feel of the band and its music era.
“Suspiria,” directed by auteur Dario Argento, is a horror fantasy that focuses on a dancer who attends a prestigious ballet academy in Germany where a string of murders and supernatural events occur. Ranked No. 41 on popular movie review website Rotten Tomatoes’ list of 100 best horror films, the film is soon getting a remake starring Dakota Johnson.
“‘Suspiria’ seems like the ultimate ‘70s horror film,” Potak said. “It’s very, very well made but self-aware — kind of like Black Sabbath. Funny, too.”
Potak did projection work at the Hippodrome before becoming cinema director, and has had the opportunity to work with The Atlantic for other shows, like showing the film “Stop Making Sense” before a Talking Heads tribute show and “Velvet Goldmine” for their David Bowie tribute.
“Working with other businesses is really cool and gives everyone an opportunity to do something different,” Potak said. “There are so many great films out there and I love that I have the opportunity to show something that I think people should see.”
The night is meant to feel like a blast to the past, and dressing up in costume is encouraged.
“There will be a lot of cool psych rock and metal before the band gets started somewhere around 10:30,” Potak said. “It’s going to be really neat because the two parts of the night complement each other really well.”
Charles Tonnelier, a 24-year-old biomedical engineering graduate student, is a longtime fan of Black Sabbath, crediting his music taste to his father.
“Events like these are why I have loved living in Gainesville my whole life. There’s so much appreciation for music of all kinds, so you get exposed to so much in your own backyard,” Tonnelier said. “I love tribute bands. Really good ones make you feel like you’re getting to experience a taste of what a fan might have in that era.”
Like at any concert, fans hope their favorite songs get played. For Tonnelier, “Paranoid” and “Changes” are at the top of his list.
Tickets to see Suspiria at 7 p.m. are $7 for students and seniors and $9 for the general population. The tribute band and dance night at The Atlantic will begin at 9 p.m. Entrance for attendees over 21 is $5 and $10 for under 21.