To say Mac Sabbath was a trip would be a gross understatement. The forefathers of Fast Food Metal came to Harlow’s earlier this week, and I can’t remember when I’ve had such a good time. It’s a schtick, a crazy gimmick, but wasn’t Black Sabbath kind of a similar thing back in the day? I’ve loved Black Sabbath since I was 12 years old. To hear a killer cover band in a small club, dressed as McDonald’s characters, changing the lyrics from Sweet Leaf to Sweet Beef, and Iron Man to Frying Pan, all with amps cranked to eleven, was pure joy.
It had been a very long time since I was at a real hard rock, metal, or punk show, and I loved every second of it. My friends Jeff and Scott and I started the night off with Mexican food, beer, and margaritas at Tres Hermanas, and once we confirmed the car was parked in a ticket free zone, it was only a few blocks walk to Harlow’s, which is an amazing place to see a show in Sacramento. We wormed our way right up front and center, and I couldn’t have been happier. Sure, I don’t know the Mac’s version of the lyrics (and apparently Ronald Osbourne doesn’t either, as he flipped lyric sheets in a booklet and kept glancing down during the numbers), but the music to Children of the Grave, Sweet Leaf, War Pigs, and Electric Funeral among others was enough to kick my ass six ways to Sunday. When the mosh pit started during Paranoid at the end of the night, I was as happy as a pig in shit. My only concern was for my glasses. (I have to remember to bring Croakies or hand them off to someone in the crowd. Prescription glasses are never cheaper than two hundred bucks, and I do not want to lose them.)
There’s always that one old school punk rock guy who’s strong as an ox, and storms in with fists and elbows flying. He’s got something to prove. I love the pit, but I’m not really into punching people in the face. I can take the bumps and bruises and give them out when needed, but I don’t want to make an emergency trip to the dentist. (After a Fungo Mungo show I had a defined imprint of a Doc Marten sole on my chest for days.)
Although I’m closer to fifty than forty, I didn’t get hurt, and the adrenaline kept me flying for a good couple days. I’m grateful to have some younger friends like Jeff and Scott, who are typically down for any show, any time. And I’m grateful for freaks like Mac Sabbath, who are dealing with a ton of props, makeup, and costumes – in addition to the normal mountain of band touring gear – for what can’t be much (any?) money as they sludge through the highways and byways of this great land, bringing their crazy funhouse to the masses.