I like the fact that at 180 Russell St, whilst larkin’ about downstairs pre-gig, you can look up through a glass window to see your favourite musicians doing the same upstairs. As I did while waiting for Mac Demarco. Russell St also has tiered flooring, meaning no tears as pretty much everybody can see the stage (unless you happen to find yourself behind a posse of tall men).
The crowd seemed fairly familiar with the supporting act GUM, Jay Watson’s (Tame Impala/ Pond) solo-project. Hibiscus-shirt wearing Watson is a multi-instrumentalist who plays everything on his pre-recorded tracks. He was joined onstage by a guitarist, but the set felt like it could have done with a drummer to add a little more perk. His cover of the very-eighties ‘Misunderstanding’ by Genesis’, stood out best for me.
After wandering onstage, the highly unpretentious Mac Demarco introduced his bandmates before launching into the gooey ‘The Way You’d Love Her’, the opening track from his late-2015 album ‘Another One’. As usual, there was little division between Mac, the band and the audience. Heartfelt Mac reminded us a few times throughout the night that we were all in this together, that “we’ll always go together”, quoting lyrics from his song ‘Still Together‘. There was a good mix of new and old songs, the audience humming along to both the words and well-known hazy guitar riffs.
It was their third night at the venue, but Mac and his pals never seem to party-down, jostling about stage with bottles of spirits and cheeky banter. Ever-trusting Mac dove into the mightily delighted crowd a couple of times, with a cheeky point of the finger as a compass. The crowd gave Johnny (Jon Lent – newly recruited keyboardist and old friend of Mac’s) a gentle boo after he experimented with some new-found Australian vocab, declaring the crowd were “bogans”, but it was all fun and games. Boogying under warm lights, the place had an intimate fun-time feel, a perfect setting for Mac’s slacker-pop vibes.
Lisa Martin is a lover of music, words, and frolicking in the garden.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Pitch Perfect PR.
Photo credit: Mac Demarco.