Mac Demarco
Alexandra Palace 20/11/19

Mac Demarco has always been an interesting and instantly recognisable character, from his laid back persona and chorus-heavy guitar tone, and has garnered millions of streams, and now has played a career defining show at London’s Alexandra Palace.

An artist like Mac Demarco was never going to have an ‘ordinary’ show, from the outlaw country of show opener Orville Peck to the visuals displaying footage of old wrestling matches behind Mac throughout his set. A particularly interesting moment was at the very beginning of the set, a friend of Mac’s (who’s name escapes me) came onstage to hype up the crowd and ask “What about Prince Andrew then?” Before introducing each member of the band on to the stage.

Demarco and his band played songs from all five albums across his hour and a half set, the songs were laid out perfectly so that a good run of laid back tunes such as ‘I Like Her’ blended nicely into more high tempo songs such as ‘Choo Choo’ from his most recent album ‘Here comes The Cowboy’.

Unlike other artists, Mac seems like the same person onstage as he is off stage. His humour and relaxed sensibilities from interviews doesn’t disappear when he is performing. When he’s not singing he’s slowly swinging his mic by the cable like he’s going to hypnotise the crowd, and his banter between songs keeps in line with his enjoyment of recreational activities stating that his “lifestyle choices” means he might not be able to hit the high notes. Although he does so with ease.

A final odd moment came right at the end of the set, Mac’s friend reappeared onstage to express his distaste towards Boris Johnson which was met by roars of approval by what sounded like the whole audience. Finally, to close out the night, a cover of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ was ripped through at breakneck pace before Mac karate kicked his mic off it’s stand, smashed his beautiful Stratocaster and chucked the remains into the audience. Certainly not the ending to a ‘slacker rock’ gig anyone expected.

The unorthodox performance onstage was an unforgettable experience; Demarco puts on an inimitable show that perfectly encompasses all that he and his music is about.

Ryan Bird

Thank you to Jodie Banaszkiewicz at Stay Golden PR for arranging this.