Anticipation for Mac DeMarco’s arrival builds tonight during Montero’s set. Songs like ‘Vibrations’ and ‘Tokin The Night Away’ help lift a steady inflow of punters. They keep those at the front warmed up, but the outside bar is still busy and some of the crowd are getting restless for Mac.
As nine-thirty approaches, the lights dim and what must be a pre-recorded husky DeMarco introduces the band one by one, starting with the drummer. As the main man walks onto a heroic welcome those on stage launch into a mesmerising ‘On The Level’. It’s an interesting opener which works well live, however second track ‘Salad Days’ -where he picks up his first guitar of the night – gets everyone swaying along to this MDM classic. The lights keep shining on the crowd at different intervals and it’s a great feeling being apart of an all-inclusive show.
The hits keep coming with ‘The Stars Keep On Calling My Name’, ‘Cooking Up Something Good’ and ‘Ode To Viceroy’. Last in this city in 2013, (bar one festival appearance at Electric Picnic in 2015,) it’s clear that this audience feels they’ve been starved of their hero. He picks up a beany hat and after briefly wearing it, he decides to stick it on the drummer’s head. “How come we never get top-hats?” moans the guitar player sarcastically when we all know the image that this band portrays. There is also a cigar thrown onstage that one punter took off “a dodgy looking fella on the bus…” Mac’s not too keen on it.
It’s the keyboard player’s first ever time in Ireland and the crowd make him feel at home. There is an “Olé, Olé Olé Olé” chant that the band join in with along with a beautiful rendition of Michael Jackson’s ‘Man In The Mirror’. One thing is I’ve never seen Mac with an acoustic guitar before but boy does he use it well on the subtle songs. ‘My Old Man’ resonates with most of the audience and shows a maturity beyond his years.
“This Is an old one” states the singer before the start of ‘Rock And Roll Nightclub’. He is pulling out all the stops tonight. Apart from a string break on his guitar near the start, it is a flawless performance. ‘My Old Dog’ and ‘My Kind of Woman’ are thrown in and shine like the bright beacons they are. He finishes with an extended ‘Still Together’. Man, those high notes are hard to sing.
The band leave the stage and after barely any time, the keyboard player comes back followed by a sneaking DeMarco. As he hides behind amps it’s clear there’s an encore coming. ‘Watching Him Fade Away’ is a good way to end the show. It’s mellow and short. It works well as an album closer as well as live.
One thing is for certain, Mac DeMarco better not leave it as long next time to play Ireland. How about some extra shows as well in other cities around the island? After a show like this, it’s clear, he’s still The King of Slacker Rock.
Photo credit: Coley Brown (courtesy of Mac DeMarco Facebook page)