Mac DeMarco - Live At Beach Goth 2015: Review
Wed, 09 Dec 2015 12:31:23
Mac DeMarco Videos
(October 24th, 2015. Santa Ana, CA) Mac DeMarco's fans are usually ready for anything as they listen to DeMarco's strange beautiful tunes, which range from mellow beachy reverb songs to Bowie-esque glam rock. At this year's Beach Goth festival, DeMarco kept it low key as he played to Saturday night's overflowing audience from the venue's outdoor main stage.
This was DeMarco's first year playing Beach Goth, the Halloween inspired festival/unofficial-costume-party, put on each year at The Observatory in Orange County by local Southern California psychedelic surf rock band, The Growlers. Though labeled as a small local indie fest, Beach Goth has grown each year in attendance and distinguished performers. This year DeMarco shared the stage with fellow Canadian, Grimes, as well as Die Antwoord, Eagles of Death Metal, Ghost, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and Wanda Jackson. Needless to say, it was an eclectic event.
DeMarco, dressed in a flannel shirt and jeans with a hat topping his unruly mop of hair, joined his bandmates on the stage as they set-up their equipment and sound-checked in front of the buzzing audience. Each time they spoke into the mic, even if it were just to get levels right, the crowd would dutifully cheer, egging the band on to start the show. Starting the set with a track off his 2015 album, Another One, DeMarco played "The Way You'd Love Her," a chilled-out exploration of fantasy crushes. The listeners, already hot and sticky with the smell of cigarettes and stale beer from a full day of festival happenings, did their best to dance and rock to the song as if it were five-times faster and louder.
With clean guitar and DeMarco's sleepy vocals, the band played the title track off of 2014's Salad Days, a sweetly upbeat tune about the best days being over. The ensemble seemed in sync throughout the set, reaching a new level of musicianship with the addition of keyboardist, Jon Lent. "Now we're going to play a faster song," DeMarco remarked as the band started "The Stars Keep On Calling My Name," "You know what to do," Mac continued to the crowd's cheers. The audience may have known what to do a little too well as guitarist Andrew Charles White later felt the need to heed warning to the crowd, "If the person next to you doesn't want to be pushed, don't push them…be courteous."
Highlights of the gig included DeMarco's on point cover of Steely Dan's "Reelin' in the Years" and closing song, crowd favorite, "Still Together." Putting down the guitar and spending time with only the mic in hand for the closing tune, DeMarco seemed more a front man than at any other point throughout the show. Showing-off his vocal range, reaching high falsetto notes that had a likeness to the opening of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." DeMarco is a character and musician all his own. It'll be interesting to see how his albums and shows evolve over the next few years. It feels as though he has been pushing on the boundaries of what his early albums were. Whatever comes next, his shows will continue to be as unpredictable as they are entertaining.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff
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