Mac Sabbath at Baltimore Soundstage

 

My first exposure to Mac Sabbath was not like many other bands. But then again, Mac Sabbath is not like any other band I’ve ever even seen before. Like many, I first saw Mac Sabbath in the viral YouTube video of their Iron Man parody entitled Frying Pan, a performance that was, well, “different”, which is certainly what Mac Sabbath aims to be: part Shock Rock, part Wierd Al, part sarcastic comedy show, a touch of magic show.

So when I recently went to see Mac Sabbath at the Baltimore SoundStage, I somewhat had an idea what to expect: a metal show where performers dress as evil Mickey D’s characters & perform parodies of Black Sabbath covers with a fast-food theme. I wondered if such an act was worthy of headliner status, or if it was nothing more than just a silly YouTube gimmick.

The frontman is a sadistic coked-up clown in red, white & yellow called “Ronald Osbourne”. The axe is played by “Slayer McCheese” who has huge tusks protruding from between his beef patty.  “Grimalice” performs bass somehow with giant purple fuzzy hands and “Cat Burglar” is the drumming hybrid of Hamburglar and KISS’s Peter Chriss.

The infamous YouTube video no longer does justice to Mac Sabbath. Filmed when the band was perhaps less experienced in performing live, thier music quality was rather poor. Nowadays when performing live, Mac Sabbath indeed have greatly improved their sound–in particular Slayer McCheese who’s guitar solos were impressive copies of the great Tony Iommi himself.

Ronald Osbourne does a fine job as a frontman, not necessarily as a melodic singer but certainly as a performer. Before thinking that’s an insult, consider it is also descriptive of his legendary inspiration. Moments between songs are filled with Ronald speaking to the crowd with humor, such as saying how other imaginary parody bands “Cinnabon-Jovi” & “KFC/DC” will tour with them. Or how the mighty never-to-be-mentioned-by-name fast food giant hasn’t sued them…yet!  They play to the audience with showmanship & showed appreciation to their fans by meeting them right after the performance for pictures and autographs.

All the Black Sabbath covers come with twisted names & themes of greasy processed food, excessive consumerism or working that fryer. Iron Man is now Frying Pan. Sweet Leaf is now Sweet Beef. Electric Funeral is now Organic Funeral. Paranoid is now Pair Of Buns.

Despite the jovial humor, Mac Sabbath takes their show seriously with thier creative costumes and stage props. Ronald Osbourne refreshes his throat during instrumental breaks with water from ketchup & mustard squeeze bottles. Cooking utensils are used as percussion instruments. There’s also an escape from a straight jacket and magically producing a 7-foot long giant drinking straw from the crotch of Ronald’s jumpsuit.

Mac Sabbath will probably never be in the big letters on those posters advertising Rock In Rio or Wacken. But if you love the sound of classic Ozzy-era Black Sabbath, you have a twisted sense-of-humor or if you still carry angst from those days working the lunch rush then check out a Mac Sabbath show. They are much like eating a 10-piece Chicken McNuggets: You have no idea where they come from, but they really ain’t half bad!

–T.M. Iman

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