With the idea of a melting pot in mind, one will come to realize how unique Scotland is in comparison with the rest of the United Kingdom. Scots themselves are readily accepting of all who come upon their shores, as was personified when Mac DeMarco arrived on stage to play to a sold out crowd at Barrowlands. With a bottle of Buckfast in hand, he displayed his playability for audiences in both America and the United Kingdom.
If you have not had the pleasure of listening to anything that Mac DeMarco has produced, there is a definitive gap in your listening history. DeMarco’s bubbly, drunken uncle-like persona is fully transitioned into his music. Called “millennial dad rock” by Pitchfork, his sometimes trippy, often smooth ideas of what rock can be perfectly featured both in a hazy room filled with questionable smoke or in a “proper” indie rocker’s vinyl collection. His likeability and proletariat aesthetics makes his persona and sound chameleon-like in its ability to make him feel like your hometown hero where he plays; this was enhanced by the fact that large number of Scots were successful in turning the concert into one big cèilidh.
The show itself felt like a stand up comedy act in all the best ways. To open up for the night, Montero showed his own brand of psychedelic rock. Highlights of his melody of post-beatles consciousness included giving out free candy, light-up toys and his own hat, all mid-set. It was weird, it was out of the box, it was confusing; but it was all so enjoyable. Montero is a rising starlight in his own right, sitting comfortably in a genre that spans the spectrum from Mac DeMarco to the likes of Tame Impala.
The man of the hour though was Mac DeMarco himself. Even with a rather large band and stage, DeMarco has a magic that allows you to forget that you are in a concert hall with 2099 other people and feel like you are hanging out with a bunch of burnt-out band geeks in their parents’ basements and garages instead. The show that he put on was spectacular – with his quietly aggressive music reverbing off into the theatrical quality of the Ballroom’s dance hall, he was able to mix zany antics with the feeling one gets when listening to music alone in their bedroom, placing his mark on a city that has a history of uniting one another with the power of music.
[Bryce Armijo – @snarrly_]