On Monday evening Mac DeMarco and his band gave a brilliant and encapsulating performance at the Old Market in Hove. Despite standing next to a guy wearing a floral “Hype” t-shirt who kept shouting “Fuck the new songs! The new songs are the suckiest!” it was a very enjoyable evening. Clearly all the success of his new album hasn’t gone to Mac’s head as he seemed very humble and interacted with the crowd the entire show, creating a nice vibe which reflected the upbeat nature of a lot of his set. Also, apparently it is possible for people to mosh to Mac DeMarco.
Despite the objections of someone who spent their money on “Hype” they did play new songs, mixed with some of the last album and even some tracks from their “Makeout Video Tape” days, creating pretty much the dream set for every DeMarco fan boy in the crowd, and the perfect introduction to his music for people who went to check him out for the first time. The set was very dynamic and had something for everyone, whether you wanted to loose your shit to the faster songs, or wanted to try and get laid to one of Mac’s more romantic and soulful tracks.
They opened with the title track of the new album “Salad Days” which got the crowd moving straight away. People surged forwards and started throwing themselves into other people to Mac’s infectious and catchy sound. Usually there would be stand out tracks from the set but the entire performance was amazing – each song seemed as good as the last. However some of the more memorable ones were “Ode To Viceroy”, “Still Together”, “Chamber Of Reflection”, “Cooking Up Something Good” and “Rock and Roll Night Club” which was a throwback to his first outfit, Makeout Video Tape.
The energy of the band and the crowd was incredible , there were several stage invasions and people crowd surfing, as well as Mac himself during the final song (which was awesome). He seemed to actually care about the crowd, at one point telling a bouncer trying to kick a crowd surfer out to fuck off, then taking a picture with the kid to spite the security guard and pissed off venue owner standing at the side.
Usually encores are lame, the band doesn’t play their biggest song and try to trick the crowd by leaving but not taking their gear, then return thinking they pulled off a great visual heist or something. However when Mac and his band returned after playing their final song no one had any idea what they were going to play. They decided to pay homage to Canadian singer songwriter (and uncle of the bass player) Neil Young, covering his track “Unknown Legend”. Similar to the rest of the set it was amazing. Mac and co put their unique sound on a usually acoustic and folk sounding track, and towards the end of the song Mac made the crowd “Kneel for Neil” to pay our respects to Mr Young. It was an incredible ending to an incredible gig, and proved that Mac DeMarco is one of the best performers, song writers and musicians around today.