Mac Saturn at Racket (photo by Kevin McGann)
This past weekend, Racket NYC was transported back to the rocking glam 70’s thanks to the one-two punch of Mac Saturn and opener Billy Tibbals. Currently on the Until the Money Runs Out tour, both bands share an affinity for that classic rock ‘n roll sound along with a style to match and the sold-out crowd loved every minute of it.
I’ve covered countless shows over the years, but I’ve never experienced one like this before. I walked up to the recently opened venue only to find a long line of fans who had braved the barely 20-degree weather that day for a chance to be up at the stage. It reminded me of footage where you see die-hard fans lined up outside say a Bowie concert like was shown in the brilliant Moonage Daydream doc, except this is Mac Saturn’s first national headlining tour. And that’s in large part due to the massive success of single “Mr. Cadillac,” which has had countless plays on streaming services.
By the time the Detroit, Michigan natives took the stage, the crowd was so amped, so excited, a girl just a few feet to my left fainted. And credit to the band members who went over to check on her and make sure she was ok before they jumped into a rocking set. Last to take the stage was lead singer Carson Macc who walked out in all his glorious swagger. Colorful, retro patterned shirt with hip hugging pants and white rimmed sunglasses, Macc was every part the rockstar the crowd came to see. At points he would dig into his suitcase of tricks and come out with maracas and even a cowbell, strutting around the stage as he played them.
Mac Saturn at Racket
The setlist contained all of the tracks found on their EP, Until the Money Runs Out, as well as a number of new songs written since it came out. Highlights included set opener “Diamonds,” “Persian Rugs,” “Mint Julep” and a rollicking version of “Plain Clothes Gentleman.” And of course, what will undoubtedly be a signature song years from now, “Mr. Cadillac.”
Opening the night was Billy Tibbals who moved to Hollywood back in 2014 after growing up in London. And the influence of both cities was on full display as Tibbals and band rocked through a T-Rex meets Bowie inspired set of songs. Like Mac, Tibbals embraces all the excess and grandeur that you used to expect from a live show. And his recently released, Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes) produced track “Hollywood Baby” perfectly showcases his songwriting style and influences. Likewise, tracks like “Onwards and Upwards” and “Lucy” show what he and his band are capable of, balancing a sound that is both retro and modern at the same time.
Catch this tour if you can—just make sure to get there early! I expect long lines outside every venue going forward.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)