Photos by Emilio Herce @emilioherce
This week on July 18, 19 and 20, Canadian singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Mac DeMarco performed at New York’s Webster Hall as part of his Five Easy Hot Dogs Live world tour.
The evenings saw the beloved Salad Days singer, surrounded by a trio of musicians on bass, percussion and synth, along with an array of tchotchkes imbued with light and many, like a mini Statue of Liberty and a New York Lottery sign nodding directly to The City that Never Sleeps. The arranged setup backdropped by an evolving ms paint projection had the musician looking right at home in a room most would never see.
Along with his comedic banter, DeMarco seamlessly traversed his discography during his performances, dishing out instrumentals from his latest release, Five Easy Hot Dogs, then smoothly rolling into “old” material from Here Comes the Cowboy (2019), This Old Dog (2017) back to his debut LP 2 (2012), which first landed him on the stage of Webster Hall a decade ago.
The wild energy that brought DeMarco’s sound into the home of his fans over the years simmered in the small room at a seemingly perfect temperature. His iconic hoots and hollers were familiar and well-received, as were his anecdotes about his path. Before many songs, he would let fans know that “this one is a favorite” or that “20200816 She Want The Sandwich,” was not written in New York, but was “set in New York.” When rolling out songs that didn’t require his adept guitar player, DeMarco balanced on a bar stool and serenaded his fans as his band went to work rolling out his familiar arrangements.
Other than the array of music that so deeply touched his fans, made clear by their raucous applause even after the most chilled-out love song, DeMarco’s cavalier stage presence truly made the evenings feel special. The closeness in the room allowed DeMarco to cooly and truthfully explain that he would walk off stage, people would applaud, he’d come back out for what’s called an encore, then play two more songs and then everyone would go home safely – and the scene abided with absolute joy. After all, an evening of songs that likely accompanied a decade of growth, inspired or sparked love and encouraged goofy self-expression is all any DeMarco fan could ask for, let alone the instrumental fruit of his latest labors.
Photographer Emilio Herce captured some of the action below.