Mac Sabbath Concert Review Nile Theater Mesa AZ 11-16-23
Review and Photos by Maxwell Williamson
On a typical Thursday night in Arizona, I had the opportunity to catch the not so-typical “More Than Meats The Eye” tour (no, meats is not misspelled) at Arizona’s best underground rock venue, the Nile Theater in beautiful downtown Mesa, AZ. This tour is headlined by a parody band like no other – who combine the music of the British metal masters Black Sabbath along with a theme that is smothered in McDonald’s characters who flaunted condiment containers throughout their show (i.e. Ketchup and mustard and all manner of fast food fixings)! This band are also the self proclaimed Kings of “Drive Thru Metal” – welcome to the world of Mac Sabbath!
This tour also features the support from the bands Playboy Manbaby and The Cybertronic Spree. This show was my first introduction to the performances by all three acts, so I wasn’t quite sure what was in store for the night ahead. I soon found out that this was a night full of surprises, immense laughter, and some seriously grooving metal which made for a great night of non-stop headbanging and hilarious fun!!!
Kicking off the show was Playboy Manbaby, a fun and quirky indie homegrown rock group who hail from Phoenix, AZ which by the way, is just down the road from the Nile Theater in Mesa, AZ. They were proud to share that they have toured all around the world just to end up at a venue, 20 minutes away from home. The band’s music had a very unique sound – to say the least. With eclectic notes of jazz and thumping notes of punk rock that were well blended with their slick and smooth 50’s “Doo-Wop” style vocals; this was undoubtedly left of center from any typical metal show.
At times, the vocalists would expel spirited outbursts when their songs picked up in tempo which helped to grab the attention of the listener. An interesting element to their music was the melodic addition of a trumpet along with the percussive attack and jingle of a tambourine that gave their sound some extra funky rhythms that had the crowd, jumping and jiving throughout their set. They would end their set with the ever so catchy sing-along song “Cadillac Car” which is a song off their Don’t Let It Be LP on Lolipop Records/Dirty Water Records. The song’s chorus has a real catchy anthem style sing-a-long with the words; “I wanna go to work and tell my boss FUCK YOU“, which awakened the crowd for a great participation sing-a-long that set into motion the tongue and cheek mood and tone for the night of great music ahead.
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Playboy Manbaby Photo Gallery:
The Cybertronic Spree:
The second act of the night was The Cybertronic Spree who are a band with a mission and the following statement as announced on their website: The Cybertronic Spree are here on Earth for one critical mission; To party like it’s 1986! That statement and proclamation alone will have you thinking twice about what these guys are up to!
At first appearance before the band got started, I began to question what the hell I was about to witness. The stage looked more like a movie set than a concert stage and had a full cast of Transformer-like characters who were milling about on the stage; was this in addition to the band or the band itself? The band immediately vanquished my curiosity when these Transformers fired up and turned into robotic rockers who then transformed the stage like a bunch of cartoon characters from Transformer characters into Transformer Rock and Roll Machines and they were not joking around! They kicked into a head-splitting set that included covers of classics like ACDC’s “Thunderstruck” and Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.” In addition to these iconic covers, the fans were treated to some spirited original material as well. My favorite song of their set was “Turbo Heart,” where they requested crowd participation with the chorus which proclaimed “Tonight WE ROCK” ! Indeed – The Cybertronic Spree rocked the room as the crowd reassured the band with their boisterous round of applause at each song’s conclusion, that this was indeed a fun band to experience!
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The Cybertronic Spree Photo Gallery:
Headliners Mac Sabbath were up next and they slayed this night once and for all. I had previously heard of Mac Sabbath in the past and was aware of their parody and visual gimmickry but not really familiar with what they offer as a band musically. Still a little unsure of what I was about to see, I anxiously awaited their set to start as their stage hands (who were all dressed up as fast-food workers) were busy setting up a hamburger drum set along with a giant cup resembling one of which you’d get at a McDonalds restaurant; they are called Mac Sabbath after all!
Soon enough the chaos unfolded as Ronald Osbourne,-Vocals Slayer MacCheeze-Guitar, Grimalice-bass guitar, (I can’t believe it’s not Geezer Grimalice Butler) and the Cat Burgler/Glamburglar (Peter Criss of Cut Fries) who all emerged onto the stage and started off an extremely entertaining set. Not only were the fans treated to some really skillful musicianship, they were also treated to a comedy and prop show like no other. The food related puns were rampant all night and the props ranged from a giant straw beer bong… nice, to mustard and ketchup bottles dousing the crowd and giant inflatable cheeseburgers, one of which Ronald crowd surfed on! The fans were noticeably having an absurd night of fun as they continuously fist pumped and headbanged throughout the band’s set.
Mac Sabbath really know how to entertain a crowd, after all, these “Drive Thru Metal” rockers“ ain’t no CinnaBON JOVI” In a real nod to Ozzy Osbourne, the night concluded with Ronald Osbourne biting off the head of a bat as a salute to the bat biting incident in 1982 in which Ozzy bit off the head of a bat that was thrown on stage by a fan at one of Ozzy’s concerts. Don’t worry, this of course was not a real bat.
The More That Meats The Eye Tour was not on my radar when it was first announced, but all 3 acts will unquestionably garner my attendance at future shows in my area. It may not be a metal show full of mosh pits and crowd surfing, but it was a dynamic rock show with superb musicianship on display and a heavy splash of comedy mixed in. A great show to invite friends who may not typically be into the live rock-n-roll scene. It was relatable for even the average music fan and hey….you never know what you might see at a Mac Sabbath show! There was even a harmonica playing lizard at one point; how do you beat that! Do yourself a favor and put Mac Sabbath on your live show bucket list. Get out and enjoy the great music along with some side splitting laughter; you’re sure to have a ton of fun and we all need more fun in our lives!!!
Get Into Mac Sabbath Here!
Mac Sabbath Photo Gallery: