I learned to know the music from Mac DeMarco around the time his second album ‘2’ was released. It sounded low-fi mainly because he was using an old Tascam 8-track recorder with lots of wow and flutter. Nevertheless the effect of Mac playing all instruments by himself combined with the catchy melodies and low-fi sound resulted in a pleasant listening experience with songs like ‘Ode to Viceroy‘ and ‘My Kind of Woman‘. Mac could effortlessly continue this pleasant mix on his next album with his unmistakably best known song ‘Chamber of Reflection‘.
All of these songs were of course present in the playlist of his concert in Utrecht. Before Mac would hit the stage there was the supporting act Montero that painted nice psychedelic landscapes with Beatlesque song structures.
So at 9 PM it was time for Mac deMarco. It was the first time for me to see him play live and from what I had read things could become quite outrageous at his concerts. None of this happened in Utrecht, besides his somewhat distorted and clumsy way of movements and some beer drinking everything remained normal. He excused for having lost his voice for ‘hanging out too late’ and asked the crowd to sing the vocals on ‘My Kind of Woman’. It took some time before the public really connected with what was going on stage but when ‘Freaking Out the Neighbourhood’ was started the atmosphere changed and the first stage climbers and crowd surfers were noticed.
The set of regular songs was not too long and contained a nice anthology from all of his albums. One of the highlights for me was ‘My Old Man’ that got some minimalistic and jazzy treatment. Because most of Mac’s songs are quite laid back (and the trend is getting more and more noticeable with each new album) the public had to wait until the ‘official’ playlist was done before the adequate band set in with a set of their favourite songs. This set covered more heavy and up tempo songs like ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’, ‘Californication’, ‘Run With the Devil’. Mac often took place behind the drum set letting his drummer take care of the vocal duties.