Last night was one for the night owls, as Club Soda hosted M for Montreal’s midnight showcase to a packed house of fans eager to see local duo Magical Cloudz and slacker sensation Mac Demarco. The freezing cold outside certainly did nothing to dissuade fans from turning up en masse, as by midnight the room was close to full. The anticipation of the crowd for both acts was palpable. Opening act Magical Cloudz has been on the receiving end of much hype as of late, not to mention this was Mac Demarco’s first Montreal show in quite some time.
Swooning onto the stage around 12.30, vocalist Devon Welsh and his producing cohort Matthew Otto held the crowd’s attention for a set of tripped out atmospherics, synth drones, and esoteric vocals. Welsh cut a sinister looking figure on stage, intensely glaring into the crowd and violently pumping his fist throughout. In terms of style, Magical Cloudz plays long, drawn out pieces that would have probably been better suited to a more intimate event. I found myself wondering if pairing them with the party vibes of Mac Demarco was well-conceived, but despite this the effect they had on the majority of fans in attendance couldn’t be denied.
That said, the room was clearly ready for the kind of high energy pick-me-up that a typical Mac Demarco show can give. This was made ever more apparent as the band took to the stage and the crowd pushed its way forward for their set-opener, ‘Cooking up something good’. For the next 45 minutes or so, the room was awash with crowd-surfing, sing-alongs, laughter and movement. Maybe I’ve been at the wrong gigs over the last few years, but it was refreshing to be in a crowd so uninhibited and lacking in the self-conscious pretenses of indie show going. At any rate, there was really no excuse in not losing yourself to the positive energy and humour of the night.
When Mac Demarco and his band perform, they aim to entertain, and entertain they do. They were backed up by a group of topless guys chugging beer and the stage was constantly being run rampant by crowd invasions, as they made it through the majority of their last album, 2012s ‘2’, and select tracks from their debut, ‘Rock n’ Roll Nightclub’. Deliberately massacring covers of “Blackbird”,”Message in a Bottle” and several others, before closing the night was their signature send-off piece, “Together”, Demarco and his crew gave left no stone unturned in their quest to goof off, amuse everyone (including themselves), and play the hell out of their songs. The crowd trickled out somewhere near 3am, ambling home or elsewhere, but undoubtedly carrying the warmth of the show with them as they went.