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18 January

Photos by Damien Crocker

Putting my hand up to be deso driver because Red Hill is a trek I knew the drive would be well worth it. Starting the night was local band, Cold Meat, joining Demarco and Pond for the last show of the tour. The Perth group are an acquired taste smashing out feminist punk. However, in saying that, they did manage to have a crowd dancing. The four piece have been in the scene since 2016 and are starting to be involved in more and more gigs, pretty hectic for them to be opening for someone such as Mac Demarco. Slowly but surely the space was filled with more and more people, even for an event that wasn’t sold out, it’s the biggest I’ve seen at Red Hill.

Local legends Pond were next to grace the stage. The Freo crew, led by Nic Allbrook ,always manage to draw a large crowd. Maybe it’s because of Allbrook’s insane dancing and stage presence. Jumping onto the fence, Allbrook began to surf through the crowd. Suddenly he vanished into the sea of people and the security guards had to pull him back over the barrier. “Thank you to the lovely security that helped me back on stage, I fell into the crowd. Sorta like a bass flopping into the ocean.” Pond seemed thrilled to be performing to such a big home audience. Smashing out their latest hit, ‘Daisy’, which is a hot runner for this years hottest 100, the whole audience leapt to their feet. Finishing with 2017 hit ‘The Weather’, they all blew kisses as they left the stage for their last time on the tour.

The audience was buzzing with anticipation as we waited for Mac Demarco, someone I’ve been waiting to see since 2013. Tonight, my time had finally come. Skating onto the stage, yes skateboarding onto the stage, Demarco sure knew how to make an impression. He said a big hello and introduced everyone in his band before saying; “We will play some songs now, there will be some new ones, and some old ones, I hope that’s okay.”

Starting the night with 2017 hit, ‘On the Level’, the whole audience was in an uproar. As well as all the smoke they were producing, I can honestly say I probably got second hand high and have never seen so much weed at a gig.

Demarco had a zero fucks attitude when it came to his performance and did whatever he felt like. Which was very entertaining for the rest of us watching on. “Turn your phone lights on everyone, okay and now turn off all these stage lights, we don’t need them, yes all of them!” Demarco demanded accidentally dropping the microphone and picking it up giggling. A sea of lights lit up the stage, we could still clearly see the whole band with just the lights from the audience’s phones. It was amazing. “It’s Saturday I know you wanna rock and roll my body is telling me the same thing.” He laughed as he started to play one of his heavier songs, making the crowd shake their hips and heads. “If you want me to do a shoey, then give me a shoe.” Demarco told the audience. A black Nike and a black Vans suddenly landed at his feet. Emptying his beer into the Nike he was quick to skull it with a very happy crowd. “Beers never tasted so good.”

Andrew Charles White, Demarco’s back up vocalist and right hand man, piped up about wanting a cigarette. A packet of cigarettes was thrown on stage after Demarco and White had a debate about what Aussies call them, durries or ciggies. Both lighting up the cigarettes on stage they started their next song. Telling us he only had a few songs left the crowd was left in awe as he finished with ‘Together’.

He did a handstand in between songs, ran over to the amp, took his shirt off and stood on top of it dancing. With just his bucket hat and pants on he proceeded to put his cigarette in his belly button making it like it was smoking, weird but not weird for Mac. The band proceeded to muck around for another half an hour with songs they’d made up during sound check. The banter on stage was hilarious as well as his interaction with the sound and lighting crew and security guards.

I haven’t enjoyed myself at a gig as much as his for a pretty long time, maybe I take advantage of having access to talented musicians in Perth. I will definitely be making sure I go to his next gig when he graces us again, hopefully sometime soon.

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Mac Demarco photo by Coley Brown Mac Demarco photo by Coley Brown