Show Review: Mac Demarco @ Mohawk (4.13)
It’s clear that Mac Demarco has the world eating out of the palm of his hands. He’s received rave reviews from all over for his recent release, Salad Days, and he blew into Austin, selling out his show at the Mohawk weeks before the show even happened. Honestly, I didn’t even know he was that huge, but his show definitely proved he’s got what it takes to keep pushing forward.
You can read on for more thoughts about the show, and some photos from our friend Bryan P. at PPI.
Austin’s own Que Pasa opened the night bringing a clean indie rock sound, with just a hint of psychedelia and jangle to stage. They performed rather well, considering the venue had already filled up, and this was only their 7th show as a band. I really like their professionalism, and as they closed out with “Psycho Killer,” you could tell that the audience appreciated their efforts and sound.
Following their set was Juan Wauters, who I’ve grown to appreciate more and more, having now seen him three times in recent months. He plays in front of a giant American flag sewed next to a luchador, only being lit by a flashing bulb. The fact that he shies away from traditional stage lighting says something about his aesthetic; it also works perfectly with his aptly titled North American Poetry record (Captured Tracks). For me, I love the intimacy of his playing, as it’s always just him and his guitar on a stool, but I also love the way he delivers his vocals. Juan’s able to stretch out each syllable, enunciating particular pieces that are important to what each songs aims to get across. For me, and I know this sounds outlandish, but Juan took the show.
But, just because I loved Juan’s set, it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy Mac Demarco. He’s got a growing set list he can draw from, but it’s nice to see him spend as much time on offering up old favorites, just as much as he did for the new singles off of Salad Days. One of the reason’s I think I enjoyed the set so much is that he’s moving further away from the goofball antics that accompanied his early work/shows. Those are all well and fun, but I’d much rather see him enjoying playing his own music; I guess it’s just the other side of entertainment, and Mac likes to do both. However, he’s becoming increasingly more proficient at executing songs, while still thrilling the crowd. I mean, the man crowd surfed to the back of the Mohawk, climbed up the balcony, then found himself crowd-surfed all the way back down to the bottom. He then chose to serenade the audience with Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” begging the audience up front to get on their knees. He can perform as an entertainer, and his live shows are much improved, so it’s no wonder he’s taking off.