Smallpools & Magic Man w/ Panama Wedding – Concert Review

Smallpools & Magic Man w/ Panama Wedding
Wonder Ballroom
11.23.2014

IMG_2877This was a true ones to watch show, one featuring three amazing bands that are sure to find large success in the future, that is if they haven’t already found it.

Wonder Ballroom hosted an amazing double-headliner with Smallpools and Magic Man, with the great Panama Wedding opening up the night’s festivities. People were lined up and anxious early in the day, and of course the brilliant Alex Caplow (Magic Man) treated them accordingly.

Caplow was out with the fans multiple times up to door time, sharing donuts, taking pictures, and talking about music. This is one of those things that just tells you, “This guy is the nicest.” It’s true. Alex Caplow has to be one of the most down-to-Earth artists out there, just for the way he treats his fans.

Props to you, Caplow!

Once the crowd was inside, Panama Wedding got us started with their brand of alternative. Panama Wedding is the music project of Peter Kirk. Their music has a synth pop finish to it, while keeping a full alternative sound on the sides. They played a short, laid-back set of songs, including “Feels Like Summer” and “All Of The People”.

Once Panama Wedding ended their set, it was up to Magic Man to keep the crowd alive. They did that, and then some.

IMG_2889Magic Man, after Sunday night, has been one of the most energetic, and passionate, bands I’ve seen. The passion Alex and the rest of MM gives in their performance is inspiring, meeting a level that only Walk the Moon has set. In terms of energy alone, the endless jumping and dancing that their music brings on is in the highest of levels.

Magic Man’s ten song set never died in this energy, opening up with highly energetic track, “Texas”. This is the perfect opening song in my opinion. It’s the first track on their full-length, Before the Waves. The first line of the song is as follows:

“You are about to embark on the most wonderful experience of your life. I will not explain at this moment how or why it works. I don’t have the time. Just dance.”

At this moment, the full chaos, charisma, and beauty of Magic Man is released, and it is never let go. The crowd seemed to understand this message, as there didn’t seem to be a moment in which they were not following the advice, and just dancing.

One of the best tracks MM performed was their song, “Apollo”. The track itself, the album version I mean, is incredible. However, live, there is whole new life, a whole new aura, about it. I cannot explain this. It’s just something you have to experience.

And, of course, hearing “Paris” live is a whole thing in itself, an incredible thing. If you listen to that song and don’t move around to it, you’re doing it wrong.

IMG_2903As if Magic Man’s set wasn’t enough for the crowd, Smallpools came on shortly after as the night’s second headliner. Previously, I have seen Smallpools as an opener for both Walk the Moon, and Neon Trees (neither of which were reviewed. Sorry). Since then, they have released one new song, bringing their total catalog of songs to five.

Yeah, so they haven’t really been super active in the releasing department. However, they do have plenty of songs to share at a live show, and soon to come on their debut.

The electro-pop band gave us a healthy 11 song set, performing tracks from their self-titled EP, as well as a ton of new material to be included on their full-length debut, which is set to drop early next year.

They opened up in a spectacular way, that is with leading man, Sean Scanlon, leaping onto the stage in a tux jacket to the backdrop of a great flash of strobes. Right when he landed in front of his keyboard, they launched right into “No Story Time”, one of their five previously released songs.

Highlights from the rest of their set include “What’s That A Picture Of?” and “Killer Whales”, the latest of the five released tracks. “Killer Whales” is a special one live, as the band throws out several small inflatable orcas into the crowd, as well as one HUGE one that flies around the room (See video here).

The night was closed out with Smallpools most widely known song, “Dreaming”. They had the crowd singing and dancing along, just as Magic Man had done before them. All in all, if you were at this show, you got your exercise in. From dancing and jumping and singing, the energy never died.

If you weren’t there though, don’t fret. With an album dropping soon, I see some new Smallpools events in our near future. I’m sure Magic Man wouldn’t be against joining them (*crosses fingers it can all happen again*).

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