When a band has been away for awhile, there’s either a sense of longing or a touch of memory loss. The heart grows fonder or out of sight, out of mind. Admittedly, the latter was how I felt with Magic Man. Not that it’s a testament to them as a band–far from it. They’ve been at the forefront of this particular generation’s resurgence of 80s-tinged, dreamy synth pop with their killer debut album Before The Waves. But going a year with a national tour, a loss of three band members, no new music, and the endless supply of ~new~ ~buzzing~ ~up-and-coming~ acts uploading to Soundcloud, it’s easy to get loss in the shuffle.
As they returned to Los Angeles for their Hotline Spring Tour (excellent name, totally Magic Man-esque), the moment they stepped on the stage, it was like reuniting with that long lost friend with whom you wish you had stayed in touch more the past year. Lead singer Alex Caplow still demanded the stage, full of energy, with a presence reminiscent of Brendon Urie and Brandon Flowers. It’s hard to be a frontman like Caplow, who can literally make the audience do exactly what he wants but not in that controlling, manipulative way. Rather in a way that is so endlessly charming, of course you would follow him to the ends of the earth, especially if it results in a good time.
Magic Man plowed through their debut album, even showcasing new music from an upcoming album that “finished right before the start of this tour,” as well as the most fitting cover ever: Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark.” They never missed a step, making their existence known, reintroducing themselves to people that may have forgotten. Now that our memory has been refreshed, the need for new music is not going away…and neither is Magic Man.
Photo Credit: Rochelle Shipman for THE RADICAL