Shropshire Star

Indie rocker Mac DeMarco brings laid back vibe and energetic set to Birmingham's O2 Academy - review

Mischievous indie rocker Mac DeMarco returned to Birmingham last night for a show full of iconic tunes, incredible guitar riffs and quirky dance moves.

Mac DeMarco

DeMarco’s live shows have previously been the stuff of legends. I’d heard rumours of rock and roll tropes being a consistent feature in his live shows - we’re talking about smashing instruments, nudity and even stage diving.

I went into the gig eagerly anticipating what crazy stunts he would pull on the night, and although he didn't quite catapult himself off the balcony into the crowd, he still kept us all captivated throughout his performance.

The gap-toothed songwriter pulled in a decent crowd for his show at the city’s O2 Academy, and although it was not a sell out, you wouldn't have known otherwise.

The crowd roared as the 29-year-old Canadian star sauntered onto the stage.

Dressed in his signature bucket hat, striped t-shirt, rolled up jeans and red Vans, looking effortlessly cool as always, he was ready to give the crowd what they were waiting for.

Opening with beloved track, On The Level, the audience slowly eased into the magnetic sway of the his silky vocals, combined with his trademark synths; beginning the show with a chilled out number.

"Now the show has begun, be respectful and God bless," he said, before moving into Salad Days, the title track from his second studio album.

He Stomped around the stage dancing, with moves similar to those of Theresa May, as he twirled the mic around by its cord. He's certainly not lost any of the goofy charm from his earlier days as a performer.

"It's been a while since we've been to Buuurmingham," he joked as he tried to mimic the local accent, getting a few solid laughs from the audience.

This was not the only anecdote of the night, the interaction with the crowd made it feel as if you were watching one of your mates bands play at an open mic night, keeping it authentic.

It was clear that DeMarco is a very talented musician. Throughout the set he switched from electric to acoustic guitar and played a number of hypnotic, drawn out solos, showing his true rock and roll flair.

As another fan favourite, Ode To Viceroy, began it wasn't long before members of the audience climbed onto each others shoulders to get a better glimpse of the man in action.

The chilled out vibe was completely turned on its head as soon as the opening chords of Freaking Out The Neighbourhood were played, as the crowd surged forward and began shoving each other in the style of a mosh pit - although a lot tamer than something you would see at a hardcore gig.

The upbeat, chirpy riffs continued a second time as the he accepted a fan's request to play the chorus of the track another time, because once just wasn't enough.

As the set drew to a close, we were left eagerly wanting more, it seemed to fly by and it felt as if we'd been in a trance as we'd been so captivated by the show.

But DeMarco truly surprised the audience as ran off stage, downed a beer and leapt back out for a cover of Black Sabbath's Paranoid, followed by a hefty cover of Metallica's Enter Sandman for his encore which reminded us all that he has a lot more to give than some of his daintier indie hits would suggest.

If you get a chance to see Mac DeMarco you'll be sure to get more than your average carbon copy indie singer-songwriter, his impressive discography, authenticity and sheer talent make him shine in the industry.

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