Capsule Review: MAC DEMARCO @ The Drake Underground (NXNE 2012)
In a rare occurrence of NOT venue-hopping at NXNE, Wednesday night saw me hanging at the The Drake Underground for TWO consecutive acts! New record! Read about ETERNAL SUMMERS’ set here, but after that band finished the already-busy venue became seemingly even more packed in anticipation of MAC DEMARCO’s first of multiple NXNE sets.
Hailing from previous band MAKEOUT VIDEOTAPE, Montreal-based MAC DEMARCO plays loose, slightly lazy pop songs with reverb-drenched guitar and lots of floor tom. It’s a little quirky, a little lo-fi, and a little throwback; I definitely saw hybrid qualities between both SMITH WESTERNS and Toronto’s own THE ELWINS.
The guitar playing especially was reminiscent of older acts like THE STRAY CATS at times, and was made all the better by DEMARCO’s obvious ease on stage. Even though the venue was way ahead of schedule and asked him to play for an extra 20 minutes, he obliged with some slightly off-the-cuff material and kept the crowd laughing at the same time.
The standout track was probably Baby’s Wearing Blue Jeans from his Rock And Roll Night Club release, with the chorus harmonies being particularly pleasing. It’s easy to see why MAC DEMARCO was recommended by NOW Magazine and Toronto band THE DARCYS, among others; his offbeat charm still makes me smile even as I write this.