Lose Yourself Here

Mac Demarco’s Concert Review in Brixton Academy 31st of May

Currently touring after the release of his latest album, ‘This Old Dog’ (2017), Mac stopped by Europe for a couple dates end of May, which included Paris, London and Barcelona, before heading back to the US. As expected, having watched a couple of his performances on Youtube from the past years, touring for ‘Salad Days’ (2014) and ‘Another One’ (2015), he is an absolute star on stage. The Canadian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer’s sound of indie/psychedelic rock with touches of lo-fi has clearly caught the attention of many here in the UK.

Not much space is taken up by Mac and his band, literally a third of the space was set up with small number of amps and as per usual, he’s also set up “the bistro table” as he calls it, where throughout the night, family relatives as well as the opening act would watch him on. Hosted by a fantastic venue, it’s known that Mac has grown a devoted fan base which have grasped onto his fashion and it was hard to see one person without funky shirts, hats, slightly over-sized pants or just his general look. Whilst there is nothing wrong with that, it just goes to show how his persona has really shone on people, his vibes and style reflecting off most people at the venue.

We kick things off with “Salad Days”, everyone belting out the “la la la la la” part, followed with “No Other Heart”, “The Stars Keep on Calling My Name” and “For the First Time” – a song from each album! Whilst playing most of the songs on his newest album, mixed in with classics like “Cooking Up Something Good”, “Ode to Viceroy”, “Freaking Out the Neighborhood”, the reception was welcoming, people sang the lyrics, dancing going on from the front to the back and there were good vibes all around. People would sing out the dangling guitar bits, all choruses were covered and plenty of crowd surfing was going on.

Mac looked super comfortable up there, giving shout-outs to the keyboard player’s wedding anniversary, filling up on drinks, recounting his story of eating too many chicken nuggets the night before and shitting them out hours earlier, calling out the devil in his stomach. He would invite the opening act to crowd surf, introduce to us his uncle and cousin (sitting at the bistro table), all whilst taking off his shirt by demand, kissing the front man of the opening act and goofing around on stage. People were loving it, this was what Mac is all about and comes “Moonlight on the River”, followed with electro noise as can be heard at the end of the song – shit got crazy.

“Chamber of Reflection” was the second-last tune, everyone knowing the lyrics by heart and of course, as is seen in pretty much all his shows, Mac finished off with “Still Together” with the fantastic ‘to-geeeeeeee-tthheeerrrreeeeee’ part that is oh so loved. 20 minutes followed of him standing on amps, the other guitarist playing random jingles, the musicians changing instruments, him crowd-surfing, throwing guitars, hitting himself with the microphone and just fucking taking it in.

I think this was a big night for Mac, it felt like sometimes during the gig the slower songs from his latest record had him worried, a slight discomfort that was felt as he tried to get through the songs and not meeting the satisfaction the heated crowd wanted. But come around the end of it, Mac let-loose and fired himself up to the level of the spectators who could only watch on, admiring his wild antics. Even as he was getting told off for going over time, he simply didn’t stop and continued to put on a crazy show that surely everyone will remember. Mac had come over to conquer Brixton academy for two nights and I can certainly say he has – people will be eagerly awaiting his return, so will I.

Set list:

  1. Salad Days

  2. No Other Heart

  3. The Stars Keep on Calling My Name

  4. For the First Time

  5. This Old Dog

  6. My Old Man

  7. Cooking Up Something Good

  8. A Wolf Who Wears Sheeps Clothes

  9. Ode to Viceroy

  10. Dreams From Yesterday

  11. On the Level

  12. Freaking Out the Neighborhood

  13. Rock and Roll Night Club

  14. One More Love Song

  15. My Kind of Woman

  16. Moonlight on the River

17.Chamber of Reflection

18.Still Together

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