3/10/15 – The Royale

“Boston….WE’RE HOME!” Screams of joy greeted Magic Man‘s pronouncement; everyone’s eyes at Royale were locked on lead singer Alex Caplow as he twirled dizzyingly  around the stage during an instrumental of “Everyday.” The frenzied pace of the music had only somewhat abated as Caplow’s bandmates jammed out on their respective instruments. The Royale was packed and the central platform was overflowing with bouncy, breathless fans who held their hands high as they danced and sang to the ceiling: “Every day, every day, every day / I want to feel alive.” It was clear Magic Man felt alive; the delight on Caplow’s face was enough to light up the room as crowd and band alike fed off his buoyant energy.

Magic Man delivered a carefully curated mix of songs—old and new, swinging and upbeat. “We started because we loved music and wanted to share it,” Caplow explained to the audience. “And so we were playing in our friend’s basements, then an amazing band called Walk the Moon invited us to go on tour with them, then New Politics, then Panic at the Disco, then Smallpools.” Caplow swung around the stage in a manic dreamy dance with the microphone. ” When you spend so much time on the road you can feel a little lost,” he continued. “But when we come back to Boston you remind us what it’s like to be home.” He spread his arms to the crowd as if he could reach out and hug them all.

Throwbacks to their first EP Real Life Color delighted old fans and a new song gave a glorious preview of what’s to come on their next album. “Texas” however, started a riot.. The mystical sample from the beginning of “Texas”  broke out to frantic drumbeats and nimble keyboard melodies as the crowd roared their approval. Swirling rainbows from the stage lights danced across the writhing masses as they shook out their energy and Caplow danced and twitched across the stage; unable to contain his passion and vivacity.

Magic Man’s songs are expertly crafted; a mix of enticingly sculpted highs accelerating to a breaking point. Their setlist is as well. After the explosion of Texas came chill blue lighting and breathy harmonies from “South Dakota” to cool everyone down. The swinging, bouncy beats of “Chicagoland” came next, and by the end of it people were salivating for another dance number; they weren’t disappointed. The frenetic beats of “It All Starts Here” pumped out and induced a spasm of limbs as everyone tried to keep up with the reckless beat. It’s the kind of song that makes your heart soar.

Pleas for an encore brought them back for a feel-good duo of songs. A cover of Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” had a drunken group of friends hugging and moshing. The finale though, was fan-favorite “Paris.” It brought everyone together in a hip-swinging, lip-synching, head-bouncing mob. “A fantasy/ taking over like a di-sease/ Pull me out of this/ I can’t breath” over a thousand people screamed the words. At the finish, the melodies died slowly, seemingly reluctant to leave and the smoke hanging in the air could have been the breath of hundreds of people screaming their love for Magic Man.

Sweat gleaming off his face, Caplow threw up his hands in exultation, dropping the microphone and just breathing in the moment. For a second, he stood motionless, but was startled back to reality where the crowd stood relentlessly applauding his band, and Caplow was moved to tears. Slowly making his way across the stage, he reached out to clasp the hands of nearly every fan on the way by before they all disappeared with a final wave to their hometown.

Fantasy Taking Over: Magic Man
Pros:
  • Incredible Energy
  • Happy, engaged crowd
  • Upbeat and danceable music
Cons:
  • Poor visibility in parts
  • Songs seemed to meld together
9Overall Score

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