Show Review: Mac Demarco @ Rio Theatre 11/14/14


First of all, I’ve always liked Mac Demarco’s song writing from the first time I heard his sophomore album “2.” There’s a sort of sentimental quality to his songs that is at once nostalgic for the times when music was purely about emotion rather than stoic or understated exhalations. Thus, to come to his show and discover a sort of massive appreciation of his work was rather comforting of our generation’s taste.

His interaction with crowd was amazing. At one point, a girl jumped on stage and gave him a kiss on the cheek then later, after denying a guy a selfie by briskly shoving his camera out of his face, he kissed him too. Thus, to say that Mac loves his audience would be an understatement…he’s down right sensual with them. Indeed, even I had my own special moment with Mac as I patted him on the back while he crowd surfed at the bridge of “Still Together.”

He also had a lot of humor in his set. For example, in “Still Together” he said that “although it’s kind of messed up that the girl I’m with hasn’t had a lot of boyfriends, and I’ve had a lot of girlfriends, we’re still…together” which I thought was an interesting nod to his relationship with his girlfriend “Keke.” This freedom to vary his vocal style was entertaining and liberating, as it gave his songs, which are great on their own, extra dimensions of depth and meaning. Similarly, he introduced his song “Brother” from Salad Days, as “Sister” which I thought was funny.

The concert started off rather excitedly, as his opened with “Salad Days” and the crowd immediately started a kind of moshing or wave, maybe a pogo. Some people left the main area at this point, too overwhelmed to participate. Needless to say, there was a lot of jubilation at his arrival, and the energy was kept up throughout. At one point, a guy (or girl) asked the bass player if he could have some water, and he said “no” which wasn’t very funny on its own, but then became funny when he said “There’s a water fountain right behind you. I hope you can learn to live with yourself.”

I thought that the best songs that he played were “My Kind of Women” and “Ode to Viceroy” which were my favorite songs by him anyways.

Finally, as an encore, he did a medley of covers, the first of which was instrumental, the second of which was “Enter Sandman” and the third of which was “Smoke on the Water.” It didn’t seem like he bothered to memorize the lyrics for any of these, instead adlibbing various lines with words that fit the meter, creating hilarious moments where he said nonsense like “suck a fuck” in the verse and just shouting “SMOKE” in the choruses.

At one point, someone threw a Simpson’s Homer mask up on stage, probably a leftover from Halloween. According to Mac, it was very sweaty, but he wore it as a hat anyways.

My friends had a little inside joke going, where the only thing we said about Mac Demarco was “What a nice guy.”

So, in ode to Bijan and Jeff, I’d like to say in summary: What a nice guy!

by Jonathan Lerner