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Mac DeMarco at Malkin Bowl

Monday 13th, June 2016 / 14:15
By Galen Robinson-Exo
Mac DeMarco at Malkin Bowl. Photo: Spencer Marsh

Mac DeMarco at Malkin Bowl.
Photo: Spencer Marsh

May 27, 2016

A large part of (semi)local boy Mac DeMarco’s remarkable and ongoing success is his reputation for zealous performances, so expectations for an outdoor show on a Friday night were high. Teenagers dominated the crowd flocking into the Malkin Bowl in spite of an ever-present drizzle. The line for merchandise nearly rivaled the daunting lineup for beer, and the majority of the crowd was either huddled near the stage or vying for space under the few trees on the concert grounds.

Once the monitors onstage had been covered with tarps and the band made their way into view, there was a mad dash to the stage, and the crowd promptly toppled the barricade separating them from it. A banquet table of the bands’ friends and family flanked the performers, creating an odd kind of dinner party vibe onstage. The set started leisurely, with some banter from the band and a few laid-back hits from the last two albums. After the first few songs, and a few swigs of whiskey from a Dasani bottle, Mac was enervated and the crowd followed suit. Teenagers jumped onstage to take selfies and briefly stand triumphant before stage diving (to varying degrees of success) once security got close enough to be a threat. As one particularly bold would-be stage-diver was nabbed and led offstage, Mac earnestly appealed to the security guard to “take it easy on the kid”.

The entire performance had an easy, jovial tone. The band cracked jokes, band members switched instruments and played lighthearted covers of Steely Dan and Herman’s Hermits. During “Ode To Viceroy,” cigarettes rained onto the stage. Shirts and shoes came off, instruments were playfully strummed behind heads a la Jimi Hendrix, and Mac went for what felt like a 15-minute trip around the venue held up by the crowd, and notably returning to the stage sans socks, presumably forcibly removed by over-enthusiastic trophy hunters. The arguable highlight of the show was the encore, a proggy cover of “Enter Sandman,” featuring two of the wacky inflatable tube men usually used to attract attention to used car lots on either side of the stage. It was good-spirited mayhem that reinforced Mac DeMarco’s reputation for stellar performances.

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