Huge turnout at Mac DeMarco concert in Berkeley


DeMarco and his band perform “This Old Dog,” the title track from his 2017 album.

Cameron Patera, Staff member

A lovely and temperate Friday night at the Greek Theater was the site of yet another big musical performance, bringing tons of colorfully dressed, fun loving, all-around “Berkeley-ish” people into one area.

None other than indie guitarist and pop culture icon Mac DeMarco arrived at Berkeley Sept. 8 to thousands of screaming fans that were densely packed into UC Berkeley’s Greek Theater.

“I love Mac DeMarco. I really, truly love him,” said Jessica Arnold, a 17-year-old Berkeley resident and Berkeley High School student. “Him and his music have gotten me through more tough [stuff] than my friends, my parents, anybody. He’s amazing.”

DeMarco’s performance was spearheaded by Homeshake, another very popular group within the same genre.

It wasn’t too hard to spot concert-goers around the city, as Mac DeMarco’s style of dress acts much like a proving ground for many young people’s aesthetic expression.

“I think the clothes are a big part of this sort of vibe,” said Sasha Zharchuk, an 18-year-old DVC student. “Putting an emphasis on thrifting or vintage clothing leads to a lot of different potential styles.”

DeMarco started off strong with multiple hits including “Chamber of Reflection,” “Salad Days” and “Cooking Up Something Good,” all of which were greeted by an uproar of cheering and screaming from attending fans.

That wasn’t the only thing that initiated a response, however. As the night progressed and more liquor was consumed, DeMarco started to go off the beaten track, playing songs like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles,” culminating in him jump kicking the microphone stand and swinging the cord around his head.

“I think the appeal of live shows is not knowing what you’re going to get. Especially with somebody like Mac DeMarco who’s never been known to do a show sober, there’s a lot that can go wrong – or right, depending on how you look at it,” said Julia Marquis, an 18-year-old Hayward resident and CSU East Bay student.

The crowd was very diverse, containing people from many races and cliques, but the primary demographic generally ranged from the late teens to early 20’s. Mac DeMarco’s lasting appeal is definitely strong for much of the youth, it’s not often you see such a mixed bag at a concert for an indie artist.

This is one of multiple Berkeley stops on this tour meant to promote his new album “This Old Dog,” although it’s obvious that DeMarco just loves to perform – he’s showed himself to be a real crowd pleaser.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article mistakenly had a second tour date listed in Berkeley.