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Mac DeMarco at Liverpool University Mountford Hall

by James Szumowski. Published Fri 24 Nov 2017 00:38

The Mac DeMarco show started in a way far more overstated than the man himself.

Having been bathed in blue light and aurally confused by off beat, tuneless piano keys for the 20 minutes between support and main act, the audience was plunged in to darkness as a boxing style announcer welcomed each member of the band to the stage.

The reaction from the crowd grew with each spotlighted reveal, and hit fever pitch as Mr DeMarco himself appeared from backstage, grinning maniacally with surprise at his own good fortune, before he and his band lazily tuned up, and eventually, with effortless cool, began their set.

DeMarco’s setlist spanned his entire library; though he often reverted back to his most recent release, This Old Dog, and fan favourite, 2.

Opening with On the Level, DeMarco lulled the groove laden crowd into a wishy washy surf vibe, gently welcoming them to his bosom and warming up with them. He floated around his releases as his music floated around the stifling room.

“It’s gettin’ hot in here, son! It’s HAWT!”

As the title track from This Old Dog gently floated into it’s closing notes, the ever popular ‘Oh, Jeremy Corbyn!’ chant, heard at festivals and events nationwide, began emanating from the crowd.

As soon as DeMarco realised what he was hearing, he began to play The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, the song the chant borrows its tune from. This brought the crowd to life and eventually the whole room was bouncing to the name of the leader of the opposition.

It was interesting to consider whether the band, or DeMarco, were aware of the cultural, political and sociological impact of what they were playing. It isn’t hard to imagine the band talking after the show, with one member turning to the other to say “They really loved the White Stripes, huh?”.

After a solid hour and a half of laid back slack rocking, a medley of cheerful, grin inducing covers closed the gig. Starting with The Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Under the Bridge and winding through pop history via Van Halen’s Runnin’ With the Devil, 50 Cent’s In Da Club and The La’s There She Goes (twice), the medley ran for a good half hour.

Buried within was a very well received mini- medley of Liverpool’s favourite sons, The Beatles.

I Feel Fine, Blackbird, Get Back and Dig a Pony were all entwined in a respectful nod to the musical heritage of the beautiful city of Liverpool. Another wonderfully uniting moment in a gig peppered with happiness, wide grins and grooves.

Mac DeMarco had never played in the great city before, and will now surely be welcomed back to Liverpool any time, with open arms, ears and hearts.



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