Everynight Charley

Mac Saturn, the Billy Tibbals Band at Racket / February 4, 2023

With the concert industry nearly back to pre-COVID standards, new touring artists attempting to reach national audiences are flooding New York City’s music venues. These young bands include Mac Saturn and the Billy Tibbals Band, both of whom shared a bill at new club Racket on February 4. Neither band had a wealth of recordings or history behind them, yet both acts attracted a relatively small but highly enthusiastic audience.

At Racket, both Mac Saturn and the Billy Tibbals Band performed vintage-sounding rock and roll. Opening the concert, the Billy Tibbals Band married 1960s pop and 1970s glam. After intermission, Mac Saturn merged classic Motown influences with Motor City rock and roll.

Billy Tibbals moved from London to Hollywood as a teenager in 2014 and finished high school during the pandemic. Pursuing his rock and roll dreams, he retreated to his parents’ garage to compose and record songs that spoke of his youthful experiences. One of these songs, “Onwards and Upwards,” became his debut single. Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes produced Tibbals’ second single, “Hollywood Baby.” Tibbals will release his debut six-song EP, Stay Teenage, on April 21.

Wearing a blazer and haircut that recalled the 1960s British Invasion, Tibbals was accompanied on stage by flashy guitarist Tristan Dean, bassist Darby O’Mahoney and drummer Reza Matin. They worked as a smooth team to bring Tibbals’ retro sound to life. Playing tight, they accentuated Tibbals’ flair for melody.



Mac Saturn formed in 2020 in Detroit, Michigan, where the musicians live together and rehearse every day in a rented century-old house. The band released a debut five-song EP, Until The Money Runs Out, on August 12, 2022. The setlist consisted of all of the tracks found on their EP plus several new songs

With the house lights dimmed and the stage lights on, Mac Saturn’s guitarists, Nick Barone and Mike Moody, bassist Jive Moses, drummer Angelo Coppola, and keyboardist Evan Mercer took their stage positions and began to play an extended introduction to one of the band’s buzz songs, “Diamonds.” Lead vocalist Carson Macc then appeared and strutted to the center of the stage, where two plush dice hung from his awaiting microphone stand. Macc made his presence known wearing wide white-framed sunglasses, a retro suit, patterned shirt, and tie. Macc quickly became every bit the entertainer, pacing the stage and dancing sharp moves while singing to the band’s funky groove, periodically producing percussion instruments from a suitcase while the guitarists wailed.

The evening was like an opening of a 50-year-old time capsule for a largely youthful audience. For the few older rockers in the room, these performances easily could have triggered nostalgia. Mac Saturn and the Billy Tibbals Band successfully captured classic rock and roll styles, yet with a youthful charm, balancing a sound that was equal parts old and new. While today’s youth are gravitating mostly to pop and hip hop, these two bands were a rarity in that they provided a night of feel-good rock and roll to a Gen Z audience.