Mac DeMarco at Mohawk with Juan Wauters & Que Pasa: Live Review

Mac_DeMarco-2As Mac DeMarco’s show grew nearer, my amazement increased at just how many people wanted to attend the sold out event. DeMarco’s records, including his most recent, Salad Days, have been well received and he has grown in popularity as he’s begun to play on the festival circuit. Still, the fervor surrounding his show on Sunday was more extreme than any show in recent memory. I had more than a few friends ask me about a way to get tickets or get in after the show was sold out, and when I arrived, the line was wrapped around the block with underage kids waiting for the happy hour (which they could not attend) to end and the doors to officially open for the all ages show.

Mac_DeMarco-9I can’t remember ever seeing the Mohawk so packed at 7:00 PM. By the time DeMarco took the stage, the crowd was a frenzy of energy, and at the onset of the first song, fans erupted into jostling and some light moshing as they shouted along to the lyrics. Down front, huge pockets of young teenage girls with dark black Xs slashed across their hands looked on in adoration. The love seems to derived from something more than just the hazy, psychoustic pop DeMarco creates that creates such devotion in his fans. They seem to be utterly taken by the man himself. Perhaps it’s the slacker attitude, perhaps is the stage banter that works as nonchalant stand-up comedy, or maybe it’s that charming gap-toothed and completely genuine grin that breaks out frequently. Whatever it is, Mac DeMarco’s fans are diehard.

Mac_DeMarco-8Before each song, DeMarco coolly sputtered song titles, “The name of this song is… “Salad Days,” as fans broke out in applause. During the final song, DeMarco took a stage dive and crowd surfed all the way out to the balcony, where he was lifted up and climbed over the railing, surfing up all three balconies and back down. At this point, fans in the first balcony carried DeMarco down the stairs before he crowd surfed all the way back to the stage—an entire tour of the venue on the hands of fans. At the night’s end, the encore held the special treat of a cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” a song that became an extended jam as DeMarco delivered silly versions of the vocals and required the crowd to crouch down before rising to join the band in the chorus.

Jaun_Wauters-2Captured Tracks labelmate Jaun Wauters opened the night with a set of acoustic rock that centered on his quirky, accented vocal delivery. Wauters’ songs seem equal parts traditional Spanish folk, American punk rock, and acoustic pop. The blend makes for distinct and smooth songwriting. Creative lighting illuminated the stage in bursts and swells as Wauters played. We’ve been trying to catch Wauters for a while now, having somehow missed all his SXSW dates, and were thrilled to have him as an opener on the bill.

Austin’s own Que Pasa opened the night with a set of simple indie pop that included a song completely in Spanish and a closing cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.”

Check out photos of the show below. All images © Bryan Parker & Pop Press International. Click any image to open in slideshow viewer.

About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.

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