Concert Review: Mac Sabbath Indulges The Hungry Crowd At Underground Arts In Philadelphia

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(PCM) Would you like some fries with that shake? Speaking of shakes, the walls at the cavernous Underground Arts in Philadelphia, PA were literally shaking when parody rockers Mac Sabbath took to the stage providing the sold-out crowd with a hilarious and thoroughly entertaining evening of tongue-in-cheek food humor and surprisingly stellar musicianship. Seriously, how can you go wrong with a band that parodies Black Sabbath songs while dressed as McDonald’s characters? It’s brilliant!

We figured that we had better get out to see Mac Sabbath before they find themselves inevitably sued by the McDonald’s corporation and it appeared that everyone else in Philly shared the same idea, as Underground Arts was packed. Mac Sabbath live is without a doubt one spectacle you need to experience at least once in your life! The band entered the stage to the creepy intro music of Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” and once the red and yellow circus curtain fell, the audience was entranced from beginning to end.

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Throughout the band’s roughly 80 minute performance they brought out many hilarious props such as light-up chicken nuggets, a six-foot milkshake straw, as well as, inflatable hamburgers which were tossed in the crowd. Vocalist Ronald Osbourne, who entered the stage as Evil Ronald McDonald donning a strait-jacket, was chock full of piss and vinegar, hilariously quipping and sharing fast-food related anecdotes throughout the entire set. There was even a grill set up at the front of the stage that acted as a fog machine for releasing dry ice!

Osbourne, who spoke with a fake British accent, referred to the band as Drive-Thru Metal and hilariously mocked additional bands in their genre such as Great White Castle and of course Almond Joy Division to name a few. He also noted that due to legalities, as the tour coincided with the release of McDonald’s famous Shamrock Shake, the tour must be referred to as the “Rock Sham Shake Tour”.

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The band opened their set with “More Ribs” their take on Sabbath’s “War Pigs” and plowed through additional classics such as “Frying Pan” (Iron Man), “Chicken for the Slaves” (Children Of The Grave), “Cherries Are Fruits” (Fairies Wear Boots) and my personal favorite “N.I.B.B.L.E.” (N.I.B.). What was also truly amazing was just how well band members Slayer MacCheeze and Grimalice were able to play so flawlessly while donning some seriously cumbersome costumes. Slayer MacCheeze was sporting a super-sized Mayor McCheese head and Grimalice was donned head to toe in a purple Gimace costume. We still can’t figure out how they were so on-point!

The band’s encore consisted of “Pair-Of-Buns” (Paranoid) where Ronald Osbourne urged the crowd to start a circle-slam and off he went crowd-surfing around the outskirts! It was an incredible sight to behold. Mac Sabbath are definitely one of the more interesting bands we have had the pleasure of checking out, as their show was a order of fun, irreverent humor and entertainment creating a “super-sized” entertainment deal!

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Photography credit: Ken Schuler Photography 

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