Black Sabbath meets McDonald’s.
That’s the Zagat-style, short and sweet description of Mac Sabbath, a heavy metal tribute band that combines two things which couldn’t be more different. The sweet and omnipresent fast food chain has been blended with the British gods of metal, in more ways than one. First off, each band member dresses as a classic McDonald’s character, with Ozzy’s soul somehow imbued within Ronald McDonald’s menacing visage. The Grimace and Mayor McCheese handle the strings, while the Hamburglar is in charge of holding down the drums. Yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds. Luckily for the packed crowd within the Observatory’s Constellation Room, it was pretty damn good.
The crowd was rowdy before the gig began, singing along with the classic rock tunes pumped through the venue. Right as the crowd had finished a rousing rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” we watched as a completely full trash can somehow crowd surfed its way across the room before dumping its disgusting contents over one poor soul’s head. He raised his hands in triumphant defiance, and our headliners took the stage soon enough to keep the vibe from becoming too dour. And it only took one song, their version of “War Pigs” (known as “More Ribs”) before a hefty pit opened up, complete with two dudes squaring off in not much of a fight, but a right hook was landed before going their separate ways. In a word, it was metal.
Once the band got in the groove of this insane tribute act, some of the cheap thrill lost its luster. The vocals of Ronald Osbourne are both fake British and modulated, attempting to capture one of the most unreplicatable voices in all of rock and roll. Still, the guitar work of one Slayer McCheese was enough to harken back to some of Tony Iommi’s greatest riffs. No one within earshot would be fooled by what band was actually playing, but it was good enough and beyond ridiculous enough to be something entirely different and absolutely entertaining.
The band’s charm is only as good as your affinity for the source material, but you have to give it to them for sticking with this entire “drive thru metal” concept. They earned every cheer, they played some quality Black Sabbath songs, and have tried hard to modify the lyrics to something fitting this band’s image.
Ultimately, it ends up being exactly like a McDonald’s meal: it looks like food, it smells like food, but you’d have to be a fool to think it was anything but imitation.