mac demarco, platform magazine

Review: Mac Demarco at Birmingham O2 Academy

The multi-talented Canadian musician, Mac Demarco, performed to a packed audience at Birmingham’s O2 Academy on 27 November.

Even before the show began, there was an electric atmosphere on the floor of the Academy. The venue was filled to the back sometime before the supporting act started, which should be seen as a testament to the increasing popularity of Mac’s music within the British indie music scene.

The five-piece girl band, Los Bitchos, proved the perfect warm-up for the night yet to come. The ladies from London held their own on the stage; their amazing musical talents shone through their music, with most of their songs having no lyrics and only instrumentals. However, this didn’t stop the audience having a good time and a little dance before the main man arrived. 

For me, this concert was a concert of firsts – I’d never seen anything quite like it before. What I admire most about Mac and his shows is that he just performs what he wants to perform. Although this tour was effectively to promote his new album, Here Comes The Cowboy, it was clear that he sang what he wanted to sing and didn’t particularly bother about the promotion aspect. Whereas other artists may have stuck mainly to material from their newest record, Mac only performed two songs from Here comes the cowboy and actually sang the most songs from his 2012 album, 2.

Mac arrived onto the stage to a roaring reception and sang On The Level from my personal favourite album, This Old Dog, making it a perfect start to the night. This was followed by Salad Days, one of his more upbeat songs which gave the audience ample sing-along opportunity.

Following the upbeat vibe of Salad Days, Demarco’s performance of Cooking Up Something Good was one to remember. Despite having a darker underlying meaning, the catchy lyrics and beat of the song were an audience favourite on the night alongside Mac’s multiple encores of Freaking Out The Neighborhood.

Slowing it down, Demarco also sang a beautiful and emotional rendition of My Kind of Woman and a new song called I Like Her, which notably had a very similar tone to most of the tracks on Here Comes The Cowboy.

Towards the end of the night, Mac delighted fans by performing arguably one of his most popular songs, Chamber of Reflection and finished his set with Still Together.

For the encore, it was refreshing to see Mac bring out supporting band, Los Bitchos, back on stage for a helping hand. Then, Mac, his band and Los Bitchos proceeded to perform amazing covers of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid and The Champ’s Tequila, which was something neither I nor the rest of the audience was expecting.

At the end of the gig, Demarco told the audience that if we didn’t sit on the floor then no one would be going home. Ultimately, this was followed by the entire capacity of the O2 academy practically sitting on top of each other before the Canadian finally finished his set.

Having seen Mac perform before in Manchester last year, I thought I was prepared for the extent of his performing capabilities. However, this whirlwind of a show reminded me of why I am such a big fan of this guy; his performance was a perfect showcase of his musical talents, alongside amazing his vocal capabilities and unique sense of humour which captivated the audience throughout.

Mac Demarco, performing at Birmingham’s O2 Academy, 27 November

Words, photos and video by Jessica Goddard

Featured image source: DIY

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