Well, I went out and did it. For better or for worse I got to see Mac Sabbath play at the Highline Ballroom last night with a handful of buddies. For the uninitiated, Mac Sabbath are the world’s only McDonalds themed Black Sabbath cover band. They’ve made headlines across the globe; even the gods, Black Sabbath themselves, shared a Mac Sabbath video on their Facebook page. The point being – this band is happening. As controversial as they are and as strange as their stage attire might be, it seems like Mac Sabbath are here to stay and are pulling for something greater, the likes of which we may never see again.
One thing that struck me was the sheer diversity of the crowd. As one friend commented, “How the hell do all these people know about Mac Sabbath?” It’s funny to me that a band whose first major coverage came from Metal Injection and Loudwire should be able to find a place in the metal mainstream. Yet there were douchey college dudes, pretty sorority girls and a smattering of other normies dotting the crowd which also saw many of the New York metal faithful. It’s rare for me to really feel the excitement in the air before a band goes on, but the tension in Highline was palpable; everyone was excited for an experience that was sure to be unforgettable.
The curtain dropped, and the performance started. Featuring giant Ronald McDonald statues who sprayed smoke, ridiculous, GWAR-esque costumes and of course, the incredible frontmanning of Ronald Osbourne, the crowd immediately fell in love. What struck me was that, while yes, the initial laugh was probably the loudest, the set seemed to only get funnier. With every passing moment it somehow became better, be it Ronald’s stage antics (at one point he pulls a fifteen foot straw out of his pants), the potent stage presence of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butler, or Osbourne’s witty repartee making jokes about KFC Deville and Burger King Diamond. Mac Sabbath seem tapped into something which has a very real appeal to the common man.
Musically these guys are wonderfully tight. The guitar tone was absolutely on point, and the solos top notch. You could feel the love that went into the music, and the execution was stellar. That being said, Ronald Osbourne’s vocals are straight up bad. While at times he’ll hit a few right notes, the majority of the performance feels like you’re just listening to a drunk dude do bad, but enthusiastic, Black Sabbath karaoke. On that note, the lyrics are actually really smart and support an anti-fast food and anti-meat message that I found myself agreeing with throughout (full disclosure: I’m a vegetarian and am super into that whole thing), suggesting that Mac Sabbath are really trying to bring a silly joke to the next level.
Simply put – I think that Mac Sabbath might be able to take over the world. They represent so many different facets of the metal world; they’re smart, fun to watch, and have very real mainstream potential. This is a band who have a joke that just gets funnier the more you know about Black Sabbath but who could charm non-metallers. People are going to dig into this, and this band is only going to get bigger. The scary part is that they might actually be able to franchise it out and have a Burger King Diamond and a KFC/DC among others. Mac Sabbath have created drive thru metal, but who knows where it will end?