The Ford theater in Los Angeles July 15 2023 by Harriet Kaplan, photos by Farah Sosa
Chill would best describe singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Mac DeMarco’s sold-out, two-hour show last Saturday night, July 15th, at the Ford Theater in Los Angeles, CA. The youthful audience, including kids, were equally laid back. There was a calm vibe and aura in the summer air as they sat quietly for many parts of the show. The fans seemed serene and tranquil. Though they did become more animated when applauding enthusiastically after each song.
The Canadian indie darling, along with his nuanced backing band, kicked off the set with all-instrumental material his latest, fifth album, “Five Easy Hot Dogs.” This project differs from his previous efforts, being a departure from his signature style. The material is shorter in length and acoustically rendered. The LP was created as DeMarco traversed from Los Angeles to New York.
As the set went on, DeMarco thanked the audience for sharing the experience of performing these songs live. In fact, he pointed out it was the third time he played them. DeMarco likened it to a “concise ball of music, energy and vibration.” He also said this show felt very “adult contemporary” and he was “loving every minute of it.”
After he played the instrumentals off of “Five Easy Hot Dogs,” DeMarco launched into poignant, touching and relatable songs from past releases that included “Chamber of Reflection,“ “Heart to Heart” (tribute to his friend, the late rapper Mac Miller), “One More Love Song,” “Salad Days,” “I Like Her” and many more. Off-kilter songs were also featured including “She Wants the Sandwich” and “Proud True Toyota” from One Wayne G.
While the mood was very mellow and one felt incredibly relaxed at this show, DeMarco was truly a wild card personality-wise juxtaposing it with wise cracks, non-sequiturs that were random sometimes nonsensical and made plenty of drug references. For example, one alluded to his own past with drinking and being a “alcoholic, nut job” telling the audience he knew they expected him to just “go crazy” at this show.
When the energy started to shift, the audience changed or loosened up as well. The crowd was coaxed out of their quiet demeanors. They got rowdier responding with their own comments vocally to anything DeMarco said. The crowd seemed at times amused and confused, often just going along with jokes and weird tangents for the sheer fun and audacity of it.
Mac DeMarco successfully walks a fine walk being a friend to his audience reflecting them back with his regular, Everyman persona. He is a complex contradiction like most people pushing buttons and boundaries but somehow in a very human flawed yet believable way. DeMarco has a gift for captivating storytelling in songs showing a lot of emotional depth balanced by lighter moments of outrageous humor.
The songs with words
20191012 Fooled By Love
For the First Time
20221102 The Truth
20200816 She Want The Sandwich (Live debut)
20210218 Round Here
Heart to Heart
20191011 You Made The Bed (Live debut)
20191009 I Like Her
20210220 China (Live debut)
Let Her Go
This Old Dog
Chamber of Reflection
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