Concert Review: Mac DeMarco

Photo Courtesy of Coley Brown
Photo Courtesy of Coley Brown

Indie-Rock’s class clown, Mac DeMarco, skillfully delivers a sentimental yet lively performance leaving fans with his songs stuck in their heads for weeks to come.

Date: October 23
Location: Observatory North Park
Rating: 5/5

Last Friday night, North Park was too tranquil to be the most young and vibrant neighborhood of San Diego. The rare passersby were making their way on the sidewalk, and only a few people gathered outside the Observatory North Park music venue. A guy in a Hawaiian shirt was stretching on a small metal fence, a young woman was fixing her black lipstick, a group of teens was anxiously smoking American Spirits. They were preparing their bodies and minds, for they knew the absence of the line at the entrance was only an illusion — on Oct. 23, the Observatory was hosting a sold out show for one of the most eccentric indie artists of our time, Mac Demarco.

Since his high school years, Mac DeMarco has been involved in several musical projects such as “Makeout Videotape.” Now as a solo act the 25-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter has released four studio albums and two accompanying demo records maintaining a distinct musical style described as “slacker rock.” His songs are mainly guitar-based and evoke a carefree vibe reminiscent of DeMarco himself, who is known for his silly personality and extraordinarily casual fashion style. While his salad days might be gone, he is able to preserve his teenage image and high school class-clown personality.

Anyone who was present at Friday’s show could feel DeMarco’s youthful and, at times, immature ambience. Sporting backward caps, Mac’s friends Alex Calder and Walter TV opened the show with laid-back guitar tones and ended their set by introducing the highly anticipated headliner as “The Dave Matthews Band.” Though The Dave Matthews Band did not make an appearance, the dream of the ‘90s was kept alive with Haddaway’s “What Is Love” that accompanied DeMarco as he walked out onstage. Suffused with heartfelt love songs, his setlist was mainly comprised of tracks off his newest mini-album “Another One” and older favorites like “Still Together.” Playing another one after another one, Mac jokingly introduced his songs with made-up titles,“Butt Cheese” being the most memorable example. These and other antics such as grabbing and clenching his glutes were the obvious signs of Mac DeMarco being anything but shy on stage. Feeling at ease in front of a sold-out crowd, he managed to establish an intimate connection with his loyal fans who passionately danced and sang back every lyric. The traditional throwing of cigarettes onto the stage during “Ode to Viceroy” was the epitome of the fanbase’s devotion to its “Pepperoni Playboy.”

While one would think Mac’s smooth, soothing voice would not warrant a rowdy crowd; those familiar with the musician were fully aware of the wild nature of his live shows and were prepared to mosh. Canada’s resident Blue Boy, possesses the unique ability to disguise his tortured soul with upbeat, catchy riffs igniting the inner savages of otherwise calm music enthusiasts. He’s able to play with people’s emotions as effortlessly as he plucks the strings of his bare wooden Fender strat and flows between the highs and lows of his extensive vocal gradient.

At the end of the show, Mac was prompted for an encore and delivered a surprise Metallica cover, but not before his guitarist warned the crowd to go easy. No longer able to control their feelings, the audience went into a frenzy halfway through the rendition of “Enter Sandman” when Mac dove into the crowd. As the final notes faded and the lights came back on in the Observatory, we were unable to distinguish fans’ tears from sweat, but were were most certainly happy with our Macky.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The UCSD Guardian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *