Mac DeMarco’s Performance Lets Crowd “Take a Ride” at Orpheum Theatre

September 24, 2019 | By Drefnie Limprevil

Mac Demarco, a Canadian born-and-raised indie artist, stopped by the Orpheum Theatre on Sept. 23 as a part of his tour, Here Comes the Cowboy. There was music to please everyone — classic anthems for fans of his earlier sound as well as songs from his most recent album Here Comes the Cowboy, for newer listeners. He balanced slow, chill melodies with upbeat and energetic sounds, keeping the crowd engaged with every song he performed.


The show began with the opener, Dustin Wong and Takako Minekawa. As the dreamy vocals of Minekawa blended with the traditional Japaenese sounds emanating from the music, Wong played guitar and deep bass chords. The duo went on like this for a while, until the slow, steady tunes picked up into fast-paced, choppy beats. With looped vocals and steady sounds, these songs felt less structured, and more like free-flowing music.

Photo Credit Christine Lai.jpg

Photo Courtesy of Christine Lai 

A short break later, the crowd immediately rose to their feet as the beginning chords to On The Level from Mac DeMarco's 2017 album, This Old Dog, began to play. Cheers erupted within the venue as Mac DeMarco appeared onstage wearing a white graphic tee, black shorts with a smiley face patch, and his signature dad hat — an outfit that countless audience members mirrored. The chill atmosphere soon turned more upbeat as DeMarco transitioned into the next song. The lights above him changed from warm purples to bright greens and blues as he began to play The Stars Keep On Calling My Name from his 2012 album, 2.


DeMarco kept the crowd amused by interacting with them throughout his energetic performance. He spoke between every track, constantly cracking bad jokes and making the show feel like a dialogue between a performer and their crowd, as opposed to a monologue. And he couldn’t resist bringing humor into his music, ardently playing the part of a cranky old man in his 2017 song, My Old Man.


Next, DeMarco played a clear fan favorite, Ode to Viceroy, also off his album 2. The song was written as an ode to DeMarco’s favorite cigarette brand, Viceroy. Fans sang along to every word, some even imitating the track’s snappy guitar riffs. The crowd continued to sing and dance along to more upbeat songs such as Freaking Out the Neighborhood, Rock and Roll Night Club, and My Kind of Woman. DeMarco then played one of his most popular songs, Chamber of Reflection, from his 2014 album, Salad Days. The crowd lost it as the singer danced through the song — he even did a handstand at one point — and were fully captivated by DeMarco’s performance. He then sang a lively rendition of Still Together, another song from his album 2, which was supposed to be the last song in his set.


However, the night continued with an extended encore from a now-shirtless DeMarco. He forwent his slow, steady songs in exchange for quick-tempo rock songs by Kansas, Supertramp, and Misfits. His guitarist, Andy White, also had his moment in the spotlight, singing Misfits covers such as Hollywood Babylon and Hybrid Moments. The encore ended with DeMarco singing a reprise of Still Together.


As the audience began leaving the main concert hall, another surprise was in store for them. The voice of DeMarco returned, and the band came back on stage for one more song. As the crowd rushed back to their seats, the band began playing a cover of Enter Sandman by Metallica. After an impassioned performance, DeMarco said goodbye to the crowd for one final time, before giving a simple salute and walking off the stage. With the act lasting just shy of two hours, Mac DeMarco offered a refreshing concert experience, one filled with improvisation and genuinely funny conversation. With upbeat vocals and contagious energy, DeMarco never ceased to surprise and impress the crowd.