The contrast of Mac DeMarco’s sensitive music and hooligan stage antics has become as much of a signature for him as his red sneakers or cigarettes.
However, his first Pickathon performance of the week (he plays again on Sunday), seemed to be lacking in expected random obscenities and crotch-grabbing (maybe because all the families and kids present during his set). In a soothing tone, DeMarco welcomed the audience in between songs, and his PG banter with his band mates remained funny and true to form, though maybe went on a bit long for someone with such a vast musical catalogue.
Demarco played tracks from three of his four albums — yet again, Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightclub was left out of his live discography — and even took audience requests. “Let Her Go” and “Salad Days” got the best audience reception, but the overall highlight was a guitar-solo heavy cover, which, is also a recurring ingredient to his live performances. The selection was Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the Years,” which was a relevant complement to his your-drunk-uncle-at-a-family-reunion routine. And though the audience was into it, I’m sure the original track was relatively unknown to most of the sea of wristband-less fans in the first four rows.
Hoisting his electric guitar over his head, he continued to play the epic ‘80s solo backwards. Though we were all once again reminded of his serious musical talent, it added another perplexing layer to the man, his influences and his work.