So Gallagher, Ned Flanders, a Mariachi Singer, and Ronald McDonald Walk into First Avenue…


Photos by David Rubene


Gallagher, Ned Flanders, a Mariachi singer, and Ronald McDonald walk into First Avenue…

Sounds like the beginning of the weirdest joke you’ve ever heard right? Well, that was literally how my Friday night went and, as weird as it sounds, it was one of the most entertaining Friday nights I’ve had in awhile.

The show started with local favorites, Metallagher. As the name suggests, these guys are a blend of Metallica and Gallagher all wrapped up into a fun and messy live show. The music is great but always seems to get lost in their live show. As soon as I saw the cantaloupe come out, I ducked behind the friend I brought with. He looked at me like I was crazy but then when a piece of cantaloupe came hurling in our direction, I think he got what I was doing. Okay, so maybe I forgot to mention that things could get a little messy to my buddy who had no clue who Metallagher was but nobody warned me my first time!

Metallagher played through their quick set with energy and comedy. It was fun, it was bizarre and it was perfect. They smashed cantaloupes, watermelon, apples, a bottle of salsa, a plastic jar of mayo, and then drizzled the audience with chocolate sauce… let’s just say that it was smelling ripe in First Avenue by the time it was all said and done. My friend seemed to still be in shock after the set and, after a quick break outside to get away from the stench, we prepared ourselves for the next band.

Up next was Okilly Dokilly– The worlds only “Nedal” band. You know Ned Flanders? The cheery next door neighbor in The Simpsons? Well, all members of this band dress up in his iconic grey pants and green sweater with the pink collared shirts underneath, glasses, and mustaches and all of the songs are direct quotes from Ned Flanders or from other characters in The Simpsons. When I first heard about the concept of this band, I wasn’t too impressed. I’m honestly not a huge fan of The Simpsons and figured I just wouldn’t get it. Sure, some of the one liners were lost on me and I had to ask my friend why singer Head Ned stripped down to a spandex ski suit for their last song “Nothing at All” but the music was not lost on me.

Although all of the bands last night were extremely original, Okilly Dokilly was the only band that played original songs. Their brand of “Nedal” music was definitely something I could see myself listening to on a daily basis. Their music was a very clean and professional sounding metalcore. It was high energy and really well written and organized. Honestly, if you took away the costumes, I could see these guys on any of the various metalcore line-ups that I see every month and I would look forward to it.

After giving the audience their daily dose of “Nedal” music, it was time for Metalachi. Tagged as “The World’s First and Only Heavy Metal Mariachi Band”, Metalachi is literally a mariachi band that covers many of the greatest heavy metal songs out there. As soon as the first song started, I was more than entertained by the outfits and traditional instruments that the band members were playing. The music was recognizable but still unlike anything I had ever heard before.

The traditional instrumentation of the band truly gave the old songs they were covering a new life. The set felt fresh and unique but still iconic. Without a drummer, I was worried that the music would sound a bit hollow but that was not the case at all. The bassist was playing what looked like an oversized acoustic guitar with some of the thickest strings I had ever seen. When he would pound on the body of the bass, the sound would come across as a bass drum and I quickly forget that there wasn’t a drummer. The violinist shined as she played a quick solo and went as far as to walk through the pit that was in-between the stage and crowd. Just like everyone else who graced the stage on Friday night, the amount of talent that the band members have was not overshadowed by the theatrics and truly made for a great night of music.

As if this wasn’t already the weirdest, most unique show of my life, we still had one more band to go… Mac Sabbath. Yes, just like the name would suggest, these guys cover Black Sabbath songs but have changed the lyrics to be about fast food. As if that wasn’t humorous enough, the band members dress up as members of the McDonald’s clan including Grimace, the Hamburgler, Mayor McCheese and Ronald McDonald himself. The band can’t actually use the trademarked names so we were actually watching Slayer McCheeze, Grimalice, the Catburgler, and Ronald Osbourne.

The band did a great job of bringing the spirit of Black Sabbath to the spotlight. Ronald Osbourne seemed to have all of the quirky mannerisms of Ozzy Osbourne as he clapped and raised his hands throughout the set. Even when talking inbetween songs, Ronald had the accent and hard to understand speech that you see in every live video of Ozzy on stage. The stage was set up with a grill in front of the soft drink cup that acted as a microphone stand. Towards the back of the stage were blow up figures that had been dressed up to look like Ronald McDonald but with the creepiest Ronald McDonald clown masks you have ever seen.

Even with the creepiness of the clowns in the background and the oddly creepy frontman (his make-up mixed with the mannerisms was almost nightmare inducing), the comedic factor was alive and well throughout Mac Sabbath’s hour and a half long set. Due to legal reasons, Ronald was unable to say the phrase “Shamrock Shake” so he had the crowd say it for him. He pulled two ribs (I mean, if he can’t say Shamrock Shake he probably can’t say McRibs either) off the grill that was front and center and held them like horns in his red wig. Throughout the night there were props and skits that truly made it one of the funniest sets of my life.

As funny as the whole package of Mac Sabbath was, there’s no denying the musical talent of the band members. I was in awe as I watched Slayer McCheeze play through some truly complicated riffs on his guitar while wearing a gigantic hamburger on his head. I mean, I didn’t see how this guy could see anything yet he wasn’t missing a single note during complex parts. Watching Grimalice play bass in his giant purple costume was just as amazing. His hands seemed to be in giant, puffy gloves but, when you looked closer you realized that the gloves were just covering the tops of his hands leaving his fingers exposed. I still wouldn’t say that that made it easy to play because the gloves were flapping around as he played the fast bass lines.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Friday night was the weirdest show I’ve ever been to. It also wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it was one of the most entertaining and unique shows I’ve ever been to. Maybe I’m still trying to scrub the mayo and salsa out of my shoes but it was more than worth it and, like usual, I regret absolutely nothing.