Magic Man

Fri, September 20, 2013

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Terminal 5

New York, NY


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This event is all ages

Formed in Cincinnati by singer/keyboardist Nicholas Petricca, WALK THE MOON built up a devoted following on the strength of their ecstatic live show and their undeniably infectious single "Anna Sun.” A relentless touring machine with an ever-snowballing family of fans, the band quickly graduated from Ohio club scene favorites to international stars. They hit the late-night TV circuit with performances on Letterman, Fallon, Conan, and Carson, played for massive crowds at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, and joined the likes of fun., Pink, Panic! At The Disco, and Fitz and the Tantrums on the road.

WALK THE MOON’s live show is not a spectator sport. Instead, it’s an interactive celebration of life and love, a communal commitment to joy and living in the moment. Onstage, Petricca leads audiences in a mass exorcism of the things that bring them down, casting out the demons of doubt and insecurity with hands raised to the sky.

Earlier this year, after six weeks of marathon writing sessions in Ohio, the band relocated to North Hollywood, where they entered the studio with producer Tim Pagnotta (Neon Trees, Tokyo Police Club). What followed was more than two solid months of recording, the band eager to reach new heights with the album's production.

The results speak for themselves. Lead single, "Shut Up And Dance" stands as the catchiest song the band's ever written. An ode to freeing yourself from the shackles of self-consciousness and embracing the present, it's already a live favorite, with a sing-along chorus that works audiences up into a frenzy.

"We're venturing into unmarked regions of the map with these songs," says guitarist Eli Maiman, "but we're leaving breadcrumbs along the way so people can follow us."

"What we've ended up with is a bunch of really committed, confident shouts into the darkness," says Petricca of the new album.

As more and more of the songs make their live debut, WALK THE MOON is finding that the darkness is full of eager fans and new listeners, all shouting back and singing along until the lights come up.
Magic Man
Magic Man
If you were to trace Magic Man's distinctive Americana synth-rock back to its first innocent glimmers, you'd find a preschool in Newton, MA, where Alex Caplow and Sam Vanderhoop Lee formed the friendship that's still at the heart of their band today. The pair started playing music in the elementary school band, and in middle school, they added guitar to their wheelhouse, dropping their other instruments when their parents said they had to choose ("A hard decision, as the oboe always sounds so good," says Sam dryly). They took lessons from the same teacher and joined up with two school friends to form their first band: Yello Sno, purveyors of self-described "out-of-tune garage rock," whose merch featured a portrait of the band members as captured by a bar mitzvah caricature artist.
Other bands came and went as the years passed, then the friends separated for college. Alex headed to Tufts and Sam to Yale, studying child development and graphic design respectively. As their freshman summer loomed, they decided to go WWOOFing, or to swap their labor for room and board on an organic farm. They bought plane tickets to France, where Alex, whose mother is French, was a native speaker. In the south of the country, the farm days were sweltering, making it impossible to work in the middle of the day. Sam and Alex, sharing an attic room with three sheepdogs, began retreating at noon to write and play music on a guitar with one string missing.
The material gripped them, and throughout the rest of the summer, they developed the songs as they traveled. When a hippie circus festival stopped for the week at the chateau of another farm, Sam and Alex befriended a young nomad who fumbled through card tricks and called himself the "Magic Man." This aspiring magician was the first person to hear the rough demos, which Sam and Alex finished that winter, sending edits back and forth from their dorm rooms. They ended up with Magic Man's first album, called Real Life Color, recorded entirely on GarageBand with a laptop's internal microphone.
In 2010, Alex and Sam put Real Life Color on the then-new platform Bandcamp, and the scene picked up on their sound quickly: shades of warm Postal Service electronica and deft pop structure are clear in early songs like "Monster," which garnered a Pitchfork feature. By the time they took the album down, it had been downloaded over 25,000 times. When Neon Gold Records emailed them the following summer, a wheel started turning that resulted in the band signing with Neon Gold/Columbia in 2012, the same year that Sam and Alex graduated from college. Magic Man was now a five-piece, with high school friends Daniel Radin on bass, college friend Justine Bowe on keyboards and Joey Sulkowski on drums. The exuberance of their new live set started to transform the band's sound, and when Sam and Alex retreated to the Providence, RI flat they called the "Fox Den" to refine their material, the lo-fi, mellow warmth of Real Life Color started shifting to the anthemic propulsiion that defines their EP You Are Here.
At the end of 2012, Magic Man emerged with the Fox Den Demos, three home recordings that topped the Hype Machine and have been collectively played over 500,000 times, as well as the roster of songs that would comprise their new EP and upcoming album. They've spent this year out of the studio, touring with Walk The Moon, MS MR, St. Lucia, Ra Ra Riot, Grouplove and San Fermin. In the months approaching the September 10th release of You Are Here, Sam and Alex spent an intense fortnight in Dumbo working with Passion Pit producer Aldi Alex, and the result is arresting: Bruce Springsteen for a generation raised on synth. “We try to evoke emotion with our music, rather than just trying to make something cool," says Sam, but it's clear that Magic Man's managed to do both.
Venue Information:
Terminal 5
610 W 56th St
New York, NY, 10019