Mac DeMarco in Sydney: one big hang sesh with some choice tunes thrown in

Mac DeMarco is a guy who you’re already friends with, despite the fact you’ve never met.

His music has such a distinct relationship to his persona that you feel like he’s never a bar stool away. Mac DeMarco ended his fourth album Another One with his home address and an open invite to all of his fans. That natural warmth is so tremendous, it’s even reached our tiny corner of the globe in droves.

Opening his Laneway sideshow in Sydney was local enigma and DeMarco protégé Kirin J Callinan, who was greeted by the already packed Enmore Theatre like a goddamn ’90s boy band. Like Mac, Callinan’s bare-bones approach to songwriting and a staunch commitment to his character and performance have won over a fiercely devoted following.

He belted out favs from both of his albums, finishing on duet Big Enough with fellow homegrown hero Alex Cameron. The crowd simmered down a little and Mac rocked up in his own sweet time. Taking up a good chunk of stage right was what seemed to be half of the Laneway lineup and them some, which gives you a better idea of how fucking adored – and esteemed – this man is.

Mac scuffed around on stage, throwing quirky spasms and swigging beer when he got the chance. “Boy, this could be your year,” the entire arena chimed in on opener On the Level. There is something so charming about the Mac DeMarco live experience.

His shows are rife with freewheeling, off-kilter moments and can be outright insane at times, but that’s exactly why we show up. To any other square, the extended pauses between songs, weird tangents and general buffoonery might clock in as unprofessional, but to fans who know the order of things, it’s pure delight.

The rest of the night was like one big hang sesh with some choice tunes thrown in. Someone even managed to coax Chris Smith from The Internet into stage diving.

After journeying through the usual suspects (Salad Days, Freaking Out The Neighbourhood, Ode To Viceroy), the fresh cuts (This Old Dog, My Old Man, For the First Time), and a bunch of covers (Under the Bridge, In Da Club, A Thousand Miles), the guys ended on the archetype of love songs Still Together, as is the custom.

Bring on the next Mac tour down under, we can’t get enough.

Words and photos by Dani Hansen.