The final stop for the 'This Old Dog' tour seen the Pepperoni Playboy Mac Demarco entertain a packed Glasgow crowd at the legendary Barrowlands.
On this very wet, cold and dreich Friday evening, with the Gallowgate already enveloped with black ice, we arrive down early at the legendary Barrowlands Ballroom, amidst a sea of skip hats.
Opening tonight for Canadian singer ‘Mac DeMarco’ are psychedelic-pop wizard Ben Montero and his band. The band quickly break into their first song of their set with abound of lush, Beach Boy harmonies and jangly guitars. As the band see fit to remove their wooly hats on stage, as they quite literally warm into their opening set; a well-paced and very talented display of zig-zagging synths and boundless enthusiasm from the band’s frontman ‘Montero’.
As the band introduce their latest single release ‘Vibrations’ it becomes very clear that that very hard-core fans have come early to see this song being performed on stage.With its glam-rock influences and anthemic chorus, Montero’s eccentrism is fully on display.This is followed by the percussive crowd-pleaser ‘Pilot’, which nicely ends off their set.The ballroom has steadily filled up with Mac DeMarco’s white-socked disciples, awaiting the arrival of their slacker-pop messiah by this point of the evening.
As the lights went down, the band arrives on stage one-by-one and DeMarco is last to arrive, wearing a “see you jimmy” hat and clasping onto a bottle of Buckfast. The tone of tonight’s set has already been set. The band open with ‘One The Level’ a synth-heavy slow-groover from DeMarco’s “This Old Dog”, a slight departure from his trademark, lo-fi guitar sound of his past records, however it’s not long before the guitar comes out and his familiar riff of the ever-popular ‘Salad Days’ ensues, the crowd is now jumping as chants of “la la la la-la” reverberate around the room.
A unidentified, inflatable object is lobbed into the crowd from nowhere – a reoccurring theme of tonight’s gig, we soon discover, low-flying items being thrown back and forth from the stage to the crowd; we’re now beginning to think that maybe the abundance of headwear in the room was less an aesthetic choice, and more a practical one.
As we expected there’s still plenty of new material to come throughout his set tonight from his latest record ‘This Old Dog’, that being said, DeMarco strikes an ideal balance between giving serenading fans new tracks whilst giving fans old favourites such as ‘Cooking Up Something Good’, ‘Ode to Viceroy’, ‘Let Her Go’ and ‘Freaking out the Neighbourhood’. Band guitarist ‘Andy Craig’ guitar chops gets giving a good airing throughout the performance, particularly on the new album’s title track in which gets a guitar solo which brings entire room to a quiet standstill.
Meanwhile, DeMarco’s during the performance his underestimated vocals shine on slower on tracks such as ‘For The First Time’ and ‘One More Love Song’, despite his humour on-stage persona and dad dancing throughout, there’s definitely more to his lyrical offerings. Having said that things start to go more heavier nearer the end of his set, when his drummer ‘Joe McMurray’ takes centre stage to perform a cover of Red Hot Chili Peppers ‘Under The Bridge’ while DeMarco takes his place on his drum it.
His performance doesn’t really feature a traditional encore as such, but the band does do a performance of a semi-structured “jam” of sorts which features Scotland’s very own ‘The Proclaimers’ DeMarco and co perform a cover of their ‘Over and Done With’ track along with The La’s ‘There She Goes’ which was sandwiched between parts of ‘Day Tripper’, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and some Herman’s Hermits for some good measure. Despite the very unware cacophony that does erupted on stage, the crowd does sing along to every word throughout the melody.
It’s very clear that there is a lot of love in the room at legendary Barrowlands Ballroom throughout DeMarco’s performance and it may be the Buckfast or his awkward charm, regardless we have a feeling this isn’t last time we will be seeing This Old Dog back on this stage at some point the future.
MAC DEMARCO'S TOUR CONTINUES:
NOV 25 2017 : MANCHESTER Academy
NOV 26 2017 : BRISTOL O2 Academy
NOV 27 2017 : BRIGHTON Dome
NOV 28 2017 : BRUSSELS Ancienne Belgique
NOV 29 2017 : UTRECHT Tivoli
NOV 30 2017 : AMSTERDAM Paradiso
JAN 22 2018 : SHIBUYA Liquid Room
FEB 05 2018 : SYDNEY Enmore Theatre
FEB 07 2018 : MELBOURNE Forum
FEB 14 2018 : HONOLULU The Republik
MAR 10 2018 : ZAPOPAN Teatro Estudio Cavaret