Photo by DYLAN LONG
Mac DeMarco’s spacy yet genuine personality, well-crafted slacker rock and full-on bozo performance style has led him a long way. The line to get into Mac DeMarco’s way sold out show at Trocadero Theater last night stretched down an entire block of Arch street from 10th to 11th streets and continued around the corner, studded with eager teens rocking tucked in t-shirts, five panel hats and multi-colored denim jackets. Opening act Walter TV (a project consisting of several of Mac’s own band members plus Simon Ankenman) delivered 45 minutes of strange yet enjoyable melodies punctuated by the screeching of lead guitarist & singer Pierce McGarry. Between songs, McGarry would politely ask the crowd, “Any questions, comments?” and fans raised their hands and, in an orderly fashion, wait to be called on and individually addressed. Next up, Alex Calder and his band turned things down a notch on the quirk-o-meter. The unusual riffs and notes that comprised a good amount of their set had that weird vibe and character. But the normality and, at times, awkwardness of Alex nervously spewing “Thanks so much guys!” after virtually every single song they played combined with the lack of movement or physical involvement in their performance made for an awkward 45 minutes.
Mac and his band took the stage to a deafening and continuous cheer from the sold-out crowd, and what immediately ensued can only be described as wicked. Mac and his band kicked off the night with “The Way You’d Love Her,” the first single off of his recently-released Another One mini-LP. The crowd bobbed all around the floor as a clumped mass while Mac began cranking out his signature jangle poppy goodness, moving his set along with “Salad Days” and “The Stars Keep On Calling My Name.” Although a bit monotonous in nature, the tunes kept coming and the crowd kept eating them up like free Oxys. The goofy state of being in all four men made for lots of hijinks. Mac continuously made at least one goofy Jim Carry-esque face per song and morphed the delivery of his lyrics by screaming, yelping or even growling them, most of the time in a high-shrilled girly-girl tone while guitarist Andrew Charles White feverishly paced back and forth barefoot across the entire stage for the duration of each song without missing a note. Sometimes the onstage shenanigans spilled out into the crowd. At one point, Mac demanded that two of his friends who were with him at the show go crowdsurfing and that fans must keep both of them above ground for the entire duration of the next song. He couldn’t help but laugh maniacally while singing as he watched his two barefoot friends getting their feet tickled by almost everyone they crossed paths with. Such inviting ludicrousness goes a long way towards explaining how Mac and co. sold out the Troc.
More classics arose throughout the evening, such as “Cooking Up Something Good” & “Viceroy,” both hits off of DeMarcos’s breakthrough album 2, on top of brand new material like “Just To Put Me Down” & “A Heart Like Hers.” The grand finale of the night was “Still Together,” which lasted well over ten minutes, and featured not one but two Mac DeMarco stage dives (in which he lost not one but two socks). With a helping hand from a dude up in the balcony, Mac managed to scale the wall from the floor to the upper balcony, hang out with the 21+ folk upstairs for a hot second, and then gracefully launch himself back into the crowd as Andrew Charles White eroded his 12-stringer with the most righteous of guitar solos the entire time. To say that Mac and his comrades put on a show of epic proportions is a total understatement, and without a doubt, not a single soul left the Troc last night that wasn’t thoroughly satisfied and yearning for more. — DYLAN LONG