How Magic Man Had Us Under Their Spell
Basket(s), an SU student band, opened the show. They killed it as per usual, using bongos instead of actual drums and taking selfies with the audience.
Next on stage was Panama Wedding, a four-person band from NYC. Each of their songs had a a strong bass drum and a fun keyboard tune.
The vocals seemed to be a high tenor (or in other words they were sort of high pitched), reminding me of bands like the Broken Bells, and even Hanson from the ‘90s. I really got a Hanson-y vibe when they began to “doo-wop,” similar to Hanson’s “MMMBop.” They concluded with their hit song “All of The People."
Then it was time for the main attraction: When Magic Man came onstage, the energy in the room skyrocketed, and stayed that way throughout the act.
“I really like a small, packed room where everyone can kind of feel the energy and is very intimate and raw,” says Sam Lee, Magic Man guitarist. Lucky for him, Schine Underground is exactly that.
When the band first came onstage, some sort of speech was playing in the background — it seemed as if it was a political speech, but the crowd was too eager for the band to start performing, and their yells drowned out the words.
Lights lit up all over the place during each song – blue, yellow, rainbow – which added a trippy affect to the concert. Magic Man’s music, like Panama Wedding’s, had a very heavy bass, along with some cool sound affects.
The band consists of four members in addition to Lee: Alex Caplow on vocals, Justine Bowe on keyboard, Joey Sulkowski on drums, and Gabe Goodman on bass.
Caplow, with his award-winning dimples, really knew how to work the crowd. He danced like no one was watching, and you could feel the emotion in his voice as he sang. His sound is comparable to that of Phoenix or The Killers, but it was the Magic Man's funky tunes along with his indie voice that made the band stand out.
The song, “Catherine” seemed to be a crowd favorite, along with an oldie but goodie from their first album, “Darling.”
Before playing one of their biggest hits (and one of their favorite songs to play), “Texas,” Caplow said, “Let’s make a rain storm.” Together the entire audience rubbed their hands together, then began snapping, then patting their legs, than stomping their feet to create a rain storm illusion.
The band has just begun their tour. “I love touring,” Lee says, “It’s pretty much always awesome and fun. Sometimes it’s a little less glamorous, like we’ve done bus tours, and we’ve done this tour which is a little bit of a smaller bus.”
“But this one is kind of exciting because it’s the first one with big lights set up and our own audio set up,” Goodman says.
Magic Man has opened for Walk the Moon, New Politics, Smallpools, and Panic! At The Disco, which are all bands that have influenced them and that they admire greatly.
“Panic! At the Disco was kind of a new experience for us, and it was great to see sort of such an amazingly professional incredibly epic show every night," Lee says. "They obviously had a huge crew and whole different level than we’re used to dealing with."
“One of my favorite parts of doing this as a job… you can see a show and pick up anything from it… what are they doing that I can learn something from?” Goodman says. The band is going to continue to be on the road for the next month or so, with a bunch more shows to do, including large festivals.
This past winter, Magic an began to record and write new demos that they hope to continue working on after all of their touring slows down, so we can look forward to seeing much more from these magical men in the next few years.
Photos by Adham Elsharkawi