by Leah Nasgowitz
On the first of October, Canadian-singer songwriter Mac Demarco performed at the Riverside Theater located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. Expecting his usual energy and tom-foolery, I was shocked to be serenaded by jazzy, multi-instrumental renditions of old songs juxtaposed with the sound of severe weather. It was a moody Mac evening!
With most of Mac’s set rooting from This Old Dog and Here Comes the Cowboy, the energy was sulkier than the usual lunacy that he and his crowds attract. There was only one instance of crowd surfing and subtle soft moshing here and there. However, the crowd’s attire did not disappoint. Milwaukee’s thrifting scene has been on the rise this past year, and witnessed that evening were many eclectic fits of vintage that were being captured by a Milwaukee-native’s vintage account @junathrifts.
There was a lot of raw emotions in DeMarco’s performance. He seemed laid back and melancholy whilst singing even his most upbeat songs. His more recent album, This Old Dog, is known for being transparent about his family issues and absent father figure. It felt erroneous experiencing fans yelling to Mac to smile for their film shots, whilst the lyrics he sang spoke about his hardships. Mac’s choreography included many desultory lunges and thrusts and ended the evening lying on his side—Jack sketching Rose, Titanic style—while Andy concluded the set. Andy White, DeMarco’s long-haired bassist, wrapped up the evening covering Milwaukee-native Steve Miller Band’s Rock’n Me. Steve Haworth Miller, pioneer of blues-rock, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but moved to Texas at the age of 6.
Mac left the encore clutching his Marlboro Reds and vanished into the fog. All in all, Mac Demarco never disappoints, it was a wonderful surprise experiencing a heartfelt performance from his usual energetic experience. I am eager to see where Mac’s music will go next, and highly recommend being able to experience one of his shows! Mac will be on tour featuring his latest album Here Comes the Cowboy. Featuring somber melodies like lead singles, “Nobody” and “All of Our Yesterdays,” and some goofy funk tunes like “Choo Choo”. We currently are still searching for the host of ‘the best Reuben sandwich in the U.S.’ noted and proclaimed by Mac mid-concert that he had discovered during his last year’s visit to Milwaukee.
Keep up with Mac Demarco on his Facebook.