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Oldies But Goldies: Mac DeMarco At The FYF Fest and Burgerama

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Mac DeMarco at Burgerama 2013

 

Once again, Mac Demarco is playing at the FYF Fest this year,…I have seen him a few times and his popularity has never ceased to grow. Young girls and boys love him ,smoking through his set or crowd surfing in the middle of a song, there is something a bit iconic about his carefree, super laid-back attitude, something that reflects youth with a bit of that fuck you attitude, wrapped into a very easy going ambiance. Here are a few reviews I wrote when I saw DeMarco at FYF 2013, Burgerama 2014 and FYF 2014.. I can’t believe how many times I actually saw that guy:

 

Meanwhile, on the Miranda stage, Mac DeMarco’s surfing garage rock had already started some light crowd surfing, and he sounded a bit like Kurt Vile meets Jack Johnson, triggering a punkish pool party early afternoon. During a song celebrating smoking (‘Ode to Viceroy’), he was jokingly singing ’cause oh honey I’ll smoke you ’til I’m dying’, with an hangover in his vocals and some upbeat island-ish guitars. It was a light-hearted set, with a lot of talk about Red Bull and beers, attended by a very large crowd.

 

I remember seeing a bit of Mac Demarco’s set at the FYF fest, and he had struck me as an original guy who knew how to excite a 1-pm-crowd even at 90ºF. Now that he was announced as the headline at the Fonda in July, I was even more intrigued. Good for me he was late too, I arrived just on time and a crazy drunk girl told me she was there ‘for the experience’, and she could not shut up about her love for Mac Demarco while stepping on my feet. I must admit, I kind of like the guy, he sounded cool, chain smoking during the tuning and playing really diverse songs,.. hey the guy had some sensual tunes and I was becoming to see what drunk girl meant. What was this? It wasn’t rock, or punk, rather pop with an Ariel Pink twist? Bouncy, joyous, party-like, druggy, dreamy, even funky? May be that’s why his upcoming album is called (mixed) ‘Salad Days’. He certainly had some smooth jams animated by his high-pitched guitar which was giving a sweet Island-ish sound. Someone on the crowd was holding a ‘Cum on my lips’ sign and a guy next to me wanted to be sure I would take a picture of it, damn of Demarco’s sex-obsessed fans! Anyway there were lots of hooks and it was becoming quite tropical-exotic, while the crowd was singing its heart out during the choruses. Still I couldn’t totally figure out Demarco, joker or romantic? sincerity or irony? He had these sort of Beatles-esque tunes (‘Passing out the Pieces’), these floating synth pop reveries (‘Chamber of reflection’), and these little heartfelt treasures (‘Let My Baby Stay’) which sounded like a Hawaiian serenade slowly ascending over a blue warm ocean of tenderness. He calls his style ‘jizz jazz’, whatever this means, and sure his ‘Still Together’ finale was a bit ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ – I bet everyone thinks about that one. But he had style, an excellent stage diving style, as he plunged on the crowd after one of his ‘togetheeeeeeeer’ shrieks at the immense joy of the audience.

 

But everyone on Sunday was there for the Strokes, of course, and Mac Demarco! I had spotted lots of tee shirts with his ‘Salad Days’ and the crowd around the main stage had suddenly became very large, once again I could not get very close. ‘He is so sexy!’ said a girl during the sound check, whereas the guys were smoking as Demarco was doing the same on stage. Mac, a sex symbol? I don’t know, I was under his face at Burgerama and if it’s true that the girls went crazy, he looked like your average young guy who has just woken up, may be that’s the gap between the front teeth, may be it’s just because he looked so cool with his Simpsons shirt. He was announcing his songs (‘Salad Days’, ‘a song about dirty diapers’,… ) and people were pushing to get closer. His music is nice and laid back but I still don’t get the overwhelming love for this Canadian who seems to have been born on some lazy island. I had to run away from my spot where I was starting to feel packed like a sardine, smelling a bit too much weed that people were smoking… that’s beach music, it’s almost Hawaiian pop. ‘This song is about smoking cigarettes’ he said to all the smokers in the crowd and there were a lot of them… He always sings as if he is in vacation, yeah this is what this guy inspires me, endless vacation, careless summer, and fuck all the rest with that big smile and the gap between the teeth. There was one song for the ‘boys still free of testosterone’, one song for the girls, the super quiet and sexy ‘Let my Baby Stay’, and it was all good. Mac ended his set with a giant crowd surfing and he may be doing this each time (just like the guy from Phoenix), but it looked so natural for him and it sure was fun to see him crawling as if he were diving in a swimming pool despite some risk involved,.. this guy would be at ease in a slaughter house.

 

 

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