Friday September 27th, 2019 Mac DeMarco, known as the Prince of Indie Rock, performed at the Detroit Masonic Temple. The Masonic Temple, completed in 1926, is the largest building of its kind. It’s nearly century-old architecture design combined with the diverse crowd and Mac DeMarco’s chaotic energy, makes for a compelling atmosphere.
Mac DeMarco is a multitalented musician with the ability to play guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboard, percussion and of course, vocals. Mac was in a few bands throughout his high school experience dabbling in a variety of genres like indie rock, alternative R&B and post-punk. He has also said to be influenced by many different musicians who all fall under different genres themselves. Known as a twenty-something year old goofball, Mac DeMarco is one of those artists you just have to see live.
As soon as Mac and his bandmates hit the stage, he introduces each member: Joe McMurray ( drums), Andrew Charles White ( guitar, keyboard, percussion and backing vocals), Jon Lent ( keyboard and percussion), and Alec Meen ( keyboard, backing vocals, and percussion).
Mac starts off the show by playing ‘On the Level,’ a song off of his 2017 album ‘This Old Dog.’ Both the song and album offer a deeper look into the mind of Mac revealing some naked truths that prove, although he’s a growing indie-star, he is just like the rest of us. Rocking a baseball cap and an old t-shirt while promoting a pair of shorts being sold at his merch booth, Mac prances around the stage in an awkward yet captivating way.
Throughout the show, Mac plays songs from nearly every album ensuring to make the experience worthwhile. Despite the introspectiveness and emotions that make up the song ‘My Old Man,’ Mac doesn’t fail to keep the energy alive. He insists that the audience should clap along and he lets everyone know the appreciation he would have if they were to sing along as well. He walks along the entirety of the stage while simultaneously shaking his hips. While the crowd continues to clap along to the beat, he drops his microphone and does a handstand, changing the clapping to applause for this unpredictable stunt.
Mac finishes up his set with three crowd favourites: ‘Freaking Out the Neighbourhood,’ ‘My Kind of Woman’ and ‘Chamber of Reflection.’
‘Freaking Out the Neighbourhood’ begins with an optimistic guitar riff turning the audience into a sea of bobbing heads and minor mosh pits despite the song’s apologetic lyrics. Mac then plays ‘My Kind of Woman’ which, despite the title, is actually “an ode between a man and himself—his feminine self.” As soon as Mac exclaims “Oh baby, oh man” the crowd falls into a haze as they are infected with the alluring energy radiated by the song.
‘Chamber of Reflection’ begins with a dream-like synth sound, keeping most of the audience in a trance. Mac interrupts the hypnotic mood by abruptly dropping his microphone to move in a way that resembles a character in a martial arts video game as he raises his hands no higher than his ears and cautiously approaches his opponent: the dropped microphone. He moves back and forth, appearing as if he’s in a claw machine being controlled carelessly by a child until he finally grabs his prize: the mic.
He finishes the set with a more acoustic-like song where Mac explores his higher vocal range in ‘Still Together.’ Once the song ends, he lies on the stage with his head facing the ceiling likely taking the whole experience in. As the crowd applauds, shouts and whistles, member Andy White begins a lengthy cover of the bad ass guitar riff from Kansas’ ‘Carry On My Wayward Son’.
He plays vigorously for minutes until letting the song slowly fade out. As the audience slows their exuberant moves and applauds Andy, he picks it back up and rocks out even harder. He carries on this trick for nearly six minutes; he lets the crowd settle and cheer but then goes back to shaking the room with his guitar. He finds this amusing and lets his hips sway as he jerks his body back and forth.
Mac returns to his bizarre dance moves to add to the chaotic energy of the room. Andy finally completes the whole ensemble by playing quicker and quicker until he’s forced to slow down. He plays a screeching sound for a few more minutes, grasping onto a fanatical feeling of which he must never want to let go. He tells the crowd to hush as he isn’t quite finished.
Mac is back on the mic, the energy has somewhat simmered down. The crowd claps along to the beat as the band goes back to the song ‘Still Together.’ When the show ends, the crowd chants “Encore! Encore!” But, the band never returns as they know the crowd will still leave exhilarated.
Check out Mac Demarco on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/artist/3Sz7ZnJQBIHsXLUSo0OQtM