There’s been plenty of begging on social media in the last few week for tickets to this latest sold-out Mac Demarco show, but there aren’t many diehards who’ll part with one.
The Canadian is one of the most unpredictable live performers to emerge in recent years, and this is a good thing (mostly), when he’s up against typical guitar-wielding singer-songwriters.
I saw Demarco at Primavera a few years ago and he played it fairly straight — knocking out his lo-fi lounge act with a feigned laziness, in a baggy shirt and turned-back baseball cap, looking like he was filming Kevin and Perry Go Indie.
I obviously caught him on relative good behaviour though — at this year’s trip to Barcelona he spent most of the gig in a pair of tiny black briefs, while his backing band stripped off as well. And in 2015 he did a live cover of U2’s Beautiful Day — with a drumstick stuck up his ass.
So even without the possibility of another tribute to Dublin’s biggest music export, there’s a sense of indie FOMO if you’ve no ticket for Demarco’s show in Vicar Street this week, as something kinda crazy is bound to go down. Earlier this year he showed off bruises from crowd-surfing the whole of London’s Brixton Academy, saying, “That place is fucking big… maybe a little too big for my blood.”
Demarco’s stoned goofiness and teenage humour can often paper over one of indie music’s most incisive songwriters. He’s just turned 27 and his third album This Old Dog can lazily be seen as a comment on ageing, with the word ‘Old’ popping up all through the album.
On the record he also deals with family estrangement, especially with his father on the song Watching Him Fade Away. Demarco just says he’s meditating on life and putting his thoughts on record as soon as they appear in his head.
In an age of oversharing, Demarco maybe takes it too far — thousands of fans turned up to his home in New York in 2015 after he gave out his address on a record. Let’s hope he doesn’t let slip his hotel address for this Dublin show — there’s quite a few hangers-on and uber-fans who’ll be all too happy to descend after the show and carry some sort of Humans of the Sesh crossover indie meme into the next day.
- Mac Demarco plays Vicar Street on Thursday, November 23