Mac Sabbath (yes, you read that right) kicked off their first show of their East Cheeses Tour here in Detroit last week and MCB was there to witness the spectacle. They played Populux which is the site of the previously named Magic Stick in the Majestic. The venue had a huge renovation. Gone are all the pool tables and wasted space and in their place were more bars and fancy blinking lights throughout the venue. I really dug the new look.
LA based fast food themed Black Sabbath tribute/parody band Mac Sabbath have been on my radar since there formation and eventual social media take over in 2014. You would be hard pressed to find a friend of yours who hadn't posted footage of them on their Facebook page (at least in the circles I run with).
The venue had a great turnout for a Tuesday night and many curious spectators crammed in as close to the stage as they could to witness the self-appointed founders of "Drive Thru Metal". Crowd participation started before the band even hit the stage as the crowd started chanting "Big-Mac, Big- Mac". The smile on my face wouldn't cease for the rest of the night.
A large yellow and red striped curtain draped the stage and was pulled away after the intro music to expose the band. Right from the start I witnessed how fantastic the outfits and stage looked. Lead vocalist Ronald Osbourne was revealed in a straitjacket, thrashing about until he escaped, and throwing up his arms draped in red and white streamers to their version of the Black Sabbath classic “War Pigs”, which was titled "More Ribs". The band was outfited as McDonaldland characters and is comprised of Ronald Osbourne (ode to Ozzy Osbourne) on vocals, Slayer McCheese (Ode to Motorheads Snaggletooth) on guitar, Grimalice (Ode to Alice Cooper) on bass and Catburglar (ode to Peter Criss) on drums.
The crowd was eager to break out their cell phones and document what adorned the stage. There were plenty of stage props that added to the theatrical value of the band’s live show, including a soda straw mic stand, inflatable Ronald McDonald's on each side of the stage adorned with skulls that had lasers coming out of it's eyes, and a fog machine shaped like a grill with a beef patty in a frying pan on top of it which Ronald would fire up throughout the set.
I enjoyed the combination of the visual theatrics and lyrical interpretations. The show was entertaining and very creatively well thought out. The band musicianship was good, especially considering the condition of playing under large outfits in the case of the Gimalice and Slayer McCheese. If I thought it was hot and humid, I can only imagine what they felt like up there.
The song titles were fun and including the bands sense of humor in titles such as “Paranoid” which became “Pair-a-buns”, "Children of the Grave" which became "Chicken for the Slaves.", and "Iron Man" which became "Frying Pan". I would have loved to have lyric sheets so I could make out everything that Ronald was spewing. The lyrics were unfamiliar to us in the crowd so we all had to rely on the music and stage antics to carry us though. A proper album release would solve that problem, but I'm sure there's lots of legal hoops to go though before that will ever become reality.
When addressing the crowd, Ronnie spoke with a fake British accent. He had great stage presence and squeezed many puns into the set including, but not limited to, the band’s make up contemporaries including Great White Castle, Burger King Diamond, Motley Croutons, and Cinnabon Jovi.
Other highlights of the show included Ronald placing a between two sesame seed buns and chomping down and Ronald using ketchup and mustard bottles filled with water (or was it beer?) to squirt the crowd with.
At one point in the show Ronald pulled out a huge straw out of his jumpsuit and proceeded to use it to drink beer out of an audience members cup. After he finished, he gave him a replacement beer from his own stash. Large inflatable hamburgers were thrown out into the audience at one point and they kept bouncing around for the length of a song. Yet another fun thing thing to watch in the set and yet another reason that smile stayed on my face throughout the show.
Parodies that Black Sabbath fans would have picked up on included "Sweet Beef" which began with Ronald vomiting into a bucket instead of coughing as well as yelling "All Right Cow" to replace Ozzy Osbourne’s signature fill-in vocal line "All Right Now".
Die hard Black Sabbath fans will have to go into a Mac Sabbath performance with a good sense of humor and open mind. Don't expect to hear note by note renditions of the original tunes. The show is going to be a little sloppy, but that's what the band is going for. It's one Rock N' Roll party.
The band finished the set with Ronald crowd surfing and being taken by the crowd all the way to the back of the venue as the Wesley Willis classic " Rock N' Roll McDonalds" played over the speakers. Ronald hung out a bit after the set to meet with fans and he was met with many smiles.
And MCB also captured live footage of the show so please witness for yourself below...