10/26/2014 – Paradise Rock Club

“You are about to embark on the most wonderful experience of your lives…” The mystical spoken sample from “Texas” floated out across the room; silencing everyone instantly. Over 1,800 eyes strained in the darkness toward the empty stage to catch a glimpse of the indie-rock hometown heroes that make up Magic Man. “… Just dance.”

An explosion rocked the room.

From out of the darkness, Magic Man emerged, and with them came manic electro-pop beats and heart-quickening drumbeats. The scream that poured from hundreds of throats as the musicians bounded onstage was enough to ruffle the posters that hung along the back wall of Paradise. There was no shortage of wide and welcoming smiles as the sea of teens and twenty-somethings bounced in unison, feeding off the infectious energy of lead singer Alex Caplow.

“There’s something about the energy that people have in a dark sweaty basement, ” Sam, Magic Man’s guitarist, mentioned to Sound of Boston earlier this year. While Magic Man’s fan base may have outgrown cramped basement parties, it’s lost none of its cult fanaticism that came from watching the talented home-town band grow up. The crowd belted aloud EP and album songs alike, having memorized every word from the tens of times they’d blasted it out their car window or danced around their rooms.

Out of Mind” was a smooth synth-rock journey of yearning heartbreak, yet still catchy and dance-worthy. “You’re making us feel like rock stars,” Alex exclaimed breathlessly as the band paused in their set, wiping sweat from their faces. “Let’s keep dancing shall we?” Each song brought the same skill and barely-contained passion, but the electro-rock sound never felt formulaic. “It All Starts Here” was another standout that spoke to the “restless heart” of wanderlust and youth with an earnest honesty and head-banging beats. With a frantic energy Alex thrashed around the stage throughout every song, sweeping everyone up in his vivacious performance. Justine, Sam and Gabe provided the same bouncy energy and Joey continued to drive the deranged dance pace. Swinging, sing-along tune “Paris” brought the concert to a feel-good close, as Alex fell back into the crowd and Paradise gave Magic Man a roar of adoration.

Afterwards, the merch table became a mosh-pit affair, but after the crowd had thinned out the band members meandered around to meet their remaining fans. They were flushed and beaming after their performance, greeting everyone with a genuine smile and warm hug before patiently taking pictures and signing merchandise. Alex himself stood outside in the damp wind to personally greet every fan who sought him out. Judging from the shining look of exhilaration and delight that hung itself on everyone’s faces, it had been indeed “one of the most wonderful experiences of their lives.”

A Rousing Homecoming: Magic Man
  • Tons of energy from band and crowd
  • Lots of interaction from lead singer
  • Good mix of album and EP songs
  • Crowd got unruly
  • Difficult visibility
8.9Overall Score

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