One wild night with Mac Demarco

One wild night with Mac Demarco image

Everyone leaving the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium on Sunday night walked away with a lot more than just ringing ears and sweaty clothes. They had all just witnessed one of the best shows to grace Asheville in recent memory thanks to Mac Demarco. With enough energy to power a small suburb, Mac's performance was truly one for the record books. 

What was originally supposed to be an outdoor show at Highland Brewing turned into an indoor night of music at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium due to rainy weather. Mac was joined by his funky labelmate Boulevards and his experimental noise rock friends Tonstartssbandht as show openers. The doors to the downtown venue opened at 5:30pm and were instantaneously flooded with excited concertgoers. 

The regal theater space was swarming with dad hats and overalls as the venue filled up. Usually relying on assigned seating to keep the order, the auditorium was slightly more chaotic than usual thanks to the fact that the show was general admission. The first batch of lucky people inside got to stand right up in front of the stage, where as everyone else was running around to find the best seat they could claim. 

Excitement levels were high when the lights finally dimmed and the first opener of the night, Boulevards, took the stage. Jamil Rashad's funky tunes and good vibes got the whole venue up and moving. He amped the crowd up until the floor of the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium was just one big sea of dancing. 

Joined on stage by musician Laura Reed, the duo's energy was electric throughout their entire set. Playing classic songs like “Got To Go” and newer ones like “Wear & Tear,” Boulevards' performance was the perfect way to start the evening of music. When it was his time to peace out, he thanked the crowd for showing love and disappeared into the shadows. Little did the venue know that he'd be back later in the night though!

Up next on the evening's agenda was Tonstartssbandht's mind expanding jam session. The duo comprised of brothers Andy and Edwin White looked calm and collected as ever as they shredded their way through an otherworldly rock trip of aural experimentation. One playing guitar and the other playing drums, their set melted the majority of the minds that were present within the auditorium.

After what felt like one big seamless song, the boys of Tonstarssbandht departed and left the crowd in awe. Now the waiting game for the “jizz jazz” boy himself, Mac Demarco, began. Folks ran to grab a beer or to use the restroom in the brief intermission so they'd be 100 percent ready to enjoy the main event of the evening. Within no time, the lights dimmed and Mac and his crew were strutting out onto the stage. 

The cheers from the crowd were deafening—Mac is truly a rockstar. His casual and friendly attitude greeted the excited crowd, which made the volume of the screaming crowd go all the way up to 11. They only went away when he went into his first song of the night “Salad Days” off of the 2014 album that shares the same name.

The hype and energy present inside the auditorium was insanity by the halfway point of the show. Every track of Mac's was a big singalong that you never wanted to end. At one point Boulevard's even ran back out along with local legend Axxa Abraxas to crowd surf their way around the floor! As the evening went on the shenanigans ramped up and the party really began.

Towards the end of the show everything went crazy. A cover of Vanessa Carlton's “A Thousand Miles” led into Mac jumping into the crowd himself and eventually being pulled up onto one of the balconies inside the venue. He then walked across the edge until he found the perfect spot to jump back into the sea of people. Insanity! 

Once back on stage, Mac threw one of his socks into the crowd and partook in a few more goofs and gags before the lights dimmed. But wait there's more! A little while after he came back out and went right into a hardcore cover of “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. Afterwards he actually really did depart the stage and say his thanks, but the show was going to live on forever in the hearts and souls of those who were there. Thanks Mac!

Image Credits: 

All photos by Holden Mesk of Asheville Music Guide