Tonight is perhaps one of the biggest in the Liverpool gig calendar. A night which has been upgraded from the O2 Academy to the much larger Mountford Hall. In a city where it can often prove difficult to urge the gig-going population out from under their rocks, tonight proves Liverpool’s love for MAC DEMARCO, with the queue to get in snaking out of the door and bustling onto to the street – some have even been waiting outside since one o’clock this afternoon. Those die hard few are joined in the Liverpool Guild Of Students’ main room by an eclectic lot ranging from young teens clad in Hawaiian shorts, peaked caps and dungarees to many an ageing muso: all of whom have come to worship to one of the most popular independent artists in the world.
As we enter the packed-out room we are greeted by MONTERO. With lead singer Bjenny’s artwork adorning DeMarco’s T-shirts which hang on the merch stand, we have already had a sneak peek into the mind of the long-haired singer sporting a pilot’s hat. Having found a cuddly toy backstage, he throws it into the crowd as his band begin to play. Much like his artwork, the music is a vibrant blast of surrealist joy, offering us the chance to board Montero Airlines with him. We can’t help but fall head first into the band’s kaleidoscopic world and we can’t say we don’t love every second of it. Blending the platformed, cocaine-fuelled glam heights of Elton John with elements of modern and West Coast psychedelia, they sweep us up to cartoon planes and leave us in a state of euphoria.
The voice of a phantom boxing announcer heralds the arrival of Mac DeMarco: “The man of the hour, 25% Italian and riddled with disease”. The room erupts into a frenzy as the main man himself emerges from a Stars In Their Eyes-style plume of smoke, followed by his entourage. As if trying to calm the audience slightly, the band jump straight into the soothing YMO-esque synths of On The Level, but it appears to have the opposite effect with the crowd just screaming the words even louder.
The atmosphere in the room is perhaps one of the most congenial we have felt in years. Warm and friendly, there’s not a single harsh word or bad feeling in sight with Mac only adding to the smiles offering up tracks from across his career. Despite the big steel barriers required at a show as large as tonight, the connection between the band and the crowd is incredible. As the audience erupt into cries of ‘Ohhh Jeremy Corbyn’, DeMarco and band respond by playing the Seven Nation Army riff back at them, despite perhaps not knowing what is truly going on. Having played The La’s There She Goes throughout the tour, tonight it feels particularly special in Mavers and co’s hometown with the crowd erupting into a riot.
Without sounding overly cheesy, tonight is a night which shows how music can bring people together and the true joy it brings. With its big hitting covers, it’s a jangle pop party which ditches chin stroking in favour of just having a good time.