The Oregon Zoo turned out to be the perfect setting to hold a Mac DeMarco show Saturday evening as his performance was filled with wild and chaotic antics that kept the audience glued to his every movement.
Orange, California band The Garden came out on stage with full force, shouting, jumping, and getting the crowd riled up. A mosh pit immediately ensued and the post-punk Shears twins reveled in the energy, Fletcher throwing his drum stick sky high and Wyatt holding his mic stand out over the pit.
Mac DeMarco walked out soon after in his best dad getup and started with the groovy, synth driven “On The Level,” off his latest album This Old Dog. As the show went on, layers of his clothing shed and his foolery heightened. What first started out with his silly, purposeful laughs turned into a lot of humorous banter and gags between him and his bandmates. Pierce McGarry came out pretending to be a beekeeper and announced that DeMarco and his band had been disrupting the bees and the animals in the zoo. Mac’s response: “I have two words for you: ‘Fuck’ and ‘You'”. Their young stage photographer named Bubbles sang “Happy Birthday” to a 16 year old girl brought up on stage. The band went into their own rendition of the appropriately placed Jurassic Park theme song. DeMarco addressed these antics to crowd by saying, “I hope you don’t mind us fooling around up here but we’re having a lot of fun and hope you are too” to which the crowd boisterously cheered after.
For the nearly 20 song setlist, Mac DeMarco sipped on his Kombucha and dipped into songs from his previous albums Another One, Salad Days, and 2. The teenagers that filled out the front of the stage looked like mini Curt Cobain’s and enthusiastically belted “Cooking Up Something Good,” “Freaking Out The Neighborhood,” and “Ode to Viceroy.” The crowd was treated to “My Old Man,” one of his newest songs that rarely gets played live. Mac DeMarco sat on the edge of the stage and gave a gentle rendition of “My Kind of Woman.” He encouraged the crowd to echo his volume, telling the audience how beautiful they sounded for the elephants that stood close to the venue. But, with every sweet moment came another ridiculous one, one where he even announced that he had peed his pants. His long time girlfriend, Kiera McNally, sat by a table that was off to the side of the stage and that was also surrounded by members of The Garden, Walter TV, Wild Nothing, Whitney, and Reptaliens. Mac DeMarco made his show feel like it was one giant party that all of his friends were invited to rather than a show at an amphitheater. He gave the spotlight to his guitarist while he stood shirtless on an amp, narrating each guitar solo and pairing it with the sounds of his backing band’s butts. While his band played on together, DeMarco went into a faux classic rock and roll persona by putting on a crop top and ripping it straight off, swinging his mic around and then jumping rope with it. He ended with the show with “Chamber of Reflection” and a long rendition of “Still Together” during which he crowd surfed.
Behind the goofball that is Mac DeMarco seems to be a genuine person. He showed this side during a tender moment when he spoke candidly to the crowd and said that even though he may act like a jackass, he appreciates everyone that’s supported his music and come to his shows. However he acts, it certainly makes for a memorable performance.