Mac DeMarco


The city of Manchester has been one of disappointment recently, with both football teams failing to perform. However tonight, Mac DeMarco is here to Freak Out the Neighbourhood, and chances of disappointment are slim.

It’s surprisingly my first time here in Manchester’s finest Apollo, and the wait has been worth it. An urgent 70s vibe seems to ooze around the whole venue, whether it’s the support act, or the aesthetic of the crowd, I’m still unsure. One thing I am certain of, is that any venue selling a 2-pint cup is a venue I feel at home in.

My bucket of lager accompanies me down the sloped hill that heads to the stage, and even 45 minutes before DeMarco is expected on stage, the venue has already filled out to the backs and edges.

After a busy summer and a great performance at Glastonbury back in June, Mac is touring with that extra bit of swagger, and that shows as he bounces onto the stage in his trademark attire: saggy jeans, white t-shirt, and his current favourite Nintendo cap.

Since the release of the most recent album Here Comes The Cowboy, the setlist has been given an additional layer of spacey, dreamy slow songs. With that being said, it’s one of the This Old Dog favourites that kick starts the set, ‘On the Level’. A beautifully perfect song to ease the night into first gear, before kicking straight into ‘Salad Days’ for track two.

It’s almost indescribable the atmosphere in this venue, but the best way to get an idea is to think about who it is that’s on stage. The light-hearted, care-free Canadian that is Mac DeMarco not only portrays his personality in his music, but in his live shows as well.

It can be hard to capture a crowd of 3,500 people, especially when you acknowledge that DeMarco isn’t a try hard, dramatic rock and roll performer. Yet even with tracks such as ‘Nobody’ and ‘Still Together’, the Mancunian crowd fail to respond in any other way than to simply stare in awe at the presence of the man himself.

The night isn’t just filled with beautifully instrumental and pensive moments however, DeMarco’s charismatic charm and uncanny sense of humour also adds to the occasion. It is This Old Dog album opener ‘My Old Man’ that really captures the night, with DeMarco encouraging the whole of the Apollo to take part, not that they need much encouraging.

Personal highlight of the night is the penultimate track to the original setlist, ‘Chamber of Reflection’. The first note of the synth sounds and it’s almost like the whole room has awoken from a deep sleep, only to be returned to a state of trance by DeMarco’s angelic vocals.

It’s hard to ever feel a sense of disappointment when intoxicating yourself with DeMarco, and that is a ritual that he has stuck to tonight. With the combination of fantastic fans, marvellous music and mesmerising moments, the Canadian’s ever-growing legacy shall continue.

Mac DeMarco: Official | Facebook