It was abundantly clear that I was surrounded by a crowd of Mac DeMarco fans as soon as I entered Bi Nuu and saw countless Mac DeMarcoesque signature caps. The anticipation was high for this sold-out show and the evening started off with the very fitting opening act Tonstartssbandht, two brothers from Florida that played a beguiling mix of folk and heavy guitar rock with aplomb. The half hour set left the enthusiastic crowd wanting more.
After not too long of a wait, burgeoning 24 year old cult figure Mac DeMarco and his band came on stage with wide smiles and a high dose of energy. The titular track Salad Days off DeMarco’s new album of the same name started things off and the relaxed, lounge rock stylings were greeted very warmly by the crowd. Even though the album only came out around a month ago the audience was able to sing along to the new songs – now that’s what I call dedication.
Mac and his crew peppered their infectious music with funny intermissions, playing 15 second snippets of Santana’s Maria and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird just for laughs. DeMarco is a funny oddball to be sure but it is clear that he takes his music seriously. His music may be laid back but it is also surprisingly versatile; an inspired mix of jangly guitars, saturated sounds, slacker rock, and a Jeff Buckley-like falsetto thrown in for good measure. At the end of the show the band covered Unknown Legend by fellow Canadian Neil Young and ordered the crowd to “kneel for Neil.” We had no choice but to comply when asked by such talented, good-natured guys.
Review by Eli Lewy