Back in ATL for a Mac DeMarco show. We’re so lucky that we can fly direct from Tampa for less time and money than renting a car, and manage to see incredible concerts.
It was a dreary early evening when our Uber driver dropped us off at the line to get into the Tabernacle. First thing we noticed: So. Many. Teenagers.
I realize Mac is a young guy, but what I didn’t consider was that we’d be some of the oldest fans at the show. The line moved quickly, as the majority of concert-goers skipped the ID check to get an “old enough to drink” wristband.
When you walk inside the Tabernacle, you’re faced with a set of stairwells – up or down? Down – the merchandise displayed on a stage. We thought… this can’t be where the show is… but the room was huge. Exploring upstairs, we found the main concert hall – never seen anything like it. The Tabernacle is a renovated church, complete with an enormous general admission hardwood floor that slopes up toward the back, and balcony seating where you can perch on a throne above all the peasant GA ticket holders and avoid rubbing sweaty elbows with strangers.
Check out this panoramic view:
We took up our post center-stage toward the back. There was so many youngin’s waiting in the rain to get in, that we didn’t have a chance at a close-up view. The floor – sticky with rain sludge and rum-and-coke spillage from concerts-past – creaked with each shuffle of your feet, as you awaited the band.
Here’s what I can say about Mac and the show:
We’ve seen Mac before at a festival a few years ago, where he was chill, reflective, and just focused on playing all the songs that his fans love.
This show was different. Maybe it was the venue; although it looked promising, the sound was not so spectacular. Maybe it was the crowd, which can make or break a show, and their over-enthusiastic screaming at all the wrong moments, all while documenting the evening’s drama via Snapchat. Dare I say it, maybe it was Mac. Instead of the humble “I just love to play music” attitude I expected, we got a “cool, you’re here to see me” attitude. Juan may disagree with my assessment on this one, but it just felt that Mac had changed.
Somewhere between Salad Days and Viceroy, he threw in that horrendous Michelle Branch song everyone lost their minds about 10 years ago. And the crowd freaking loved it. I’m still considering whether this is forgivable.
Mac did a few songs from the new album, This Old Dog, but almost no one knew them. He played the hits, but reserved his energy for the end of the set when he covered Metallic’s “Enter Sandman.” I get that he likes to jam. Totally get that. But, Mac, I’m here to see YOU play YOUR music – not a Metallic tribute band.
An end-of-show surprise guest walked out on stage – a little pint of a kid named Finn Wolfhard, better known as Mike from Stranger Things. Juan recognized him right away. This kid has spunk and just wanted to hit the strings hard and jump up and down. The crowd was LOVING it. I learned later that Finn is a big fan of Mac’s and even did a cover of “Cooking Up Something Good” on Youtube.
See Finn Wolfhard play with Mac DeMarco:
The Tabernacle has a good thing going, but they need to work on clarity in their sound and also those floors. Beyond the aforementioned stickiness, the floor literally wobbled underneath the weight and force of the crowd as they jumped around to the beat. Please, Tabernacle folks, get this checked out. It freaked us out.
As many times as we’d been to Atlanta for shows, we never explored the city. This time, we did all the touristy stuff:
- Thrift shopping in Little Five Points, where I picked up a soft tie-dye T-shirt and a gorgeous knock-off MK side-body bag. Juan goofed around with these sweet sunglasses:
- Stroll through Centennial Olympic Park, where I took a photograph that doesn’t even look real (see below).
- Tour of the Coca-Cola museum, where we sipped soda from around the world and no employees would admit Coke’s sketchy history with cocaine. Deny, deny, deny.
Mac DeMarco 052017 @ 8:00 p.m.
Tabernacle, Downtown, Atlanta, Georgia
Special guest: Finn Wolfhard