Magic Giant Plays a Colorful Show at The Crocodile

By: Mehlika Eski

March 4, 2019

Photo by Leslie Dylan

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The LA based alt-indie-folk band brought their “Home Away From Home” Tour to Seattle last Wednesday for an exciting show.

First thing’s first: the entire bill for this show was incredible. There’s a certain aspect of surprise when you walk into a show blind – without having previously seen any of the groups you’re about to see; it’s hard to have any expectations, but maybe not knowing what to expect is a good thing. 

Photo by Leslie Dylan

    Alt-rock band, Weathers opened, starting the show off with an almost punk-rock vibe, platform Doc Martens and “guyliner” included. These guys were high-energy, and singer Cameron Boyer was all over the stage with his moves. They played their newest song, “Dirty Money,” as well as fan favorite “Happy Pills,’ and I really enjoyed these guys. I’ve definitely put them on my list of “bands to watch out for.”

Photo by Leslie Dylan

Next up was Castlecomer, an incredibly groovy rock band hailing from Australia. Their first song was called “Move", which included synchronized dancing from the band members and hand-made egg shakers that a fan had made and handed out to various people in the crowd. Lead singer Bede Kennedy was absolutely hilarious, cracking jokes here and there, and he loved to dance; it was impossible to not dance or move along with him. These guys put on an incredibly fun show and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to witness them in action.

    As the crew was setting up the stage for Magic Giant, I noticed that there were strips of tattered fabric hanging from various fixtures, and they had begun to bring out a multitude of instruments: not one but TWO banjos, a mandolin, two violins, a cello (with a guitar strap attached to it), a set of cowbells and a megaphone. Not many people know this, but I am an absolute sucker for a good banjo, and it was at this point that I KNEW I was in for a treat. 

Photo by Leslie Dylan

When the band came out, they opened their set with “Rocketman”, their newest single featuring American Authors. I noticed that singer Austin Bisnow was wearing a medical boot, which I didn’t think about too much until I saw just how much that man was moving about. But it wasn’t just him – multi-instrumentalists Zambricki Li and Brian “Zang” Zaghi we also all over the place, Zambricki with a violin in hand (and sometimes playing a harmonica, too) and Zang with a guitar, jumping on top of the boxes at the front of the stage and dancing around each other. It was truly a sight to see, and it always felt like there was so much going on at one time, but in the best way possible.

    The majority of the songs that they played were from In The Wind, Magic Giant’s debut album that was released in 2017, including “Hideaway” and “Jade.” At one point, all three of the guys stood in the middle of the stage and played various percussion instruments, including a stand-alone floor tom and the aforementioned cowbells, and they just jammed out and got really into it and had a good time.

Photo by Leslie Dylan

 

Photo by Leslie Dylan

 

Zang and Austin would both take turns playing the cello at different points during the show too, strapping it onto their bodies and either plucking the strings and playing it like a guitar or using a bow (which was impressive to me, considering the size of a cello and the fact that it’s not everyday you see someone strumming on one).

An absolutely beautiful moment happened when the band all came off the stage and into the crowd with their instruments, and they stood on top of empty milk crates in the middle of the room and sang and played “Nothin’ Left” as the audience pulled out their lighters and turned on their phone flashlights and lit up the room. These kinds of moments at shows are always my favorite, but I think this one was special due the closeness that was felt between the band and the audience in the cramped quarters of the Crocodile, and the fact that all the lights were reflecting off the disco ball on the ceiling really added to the moment.

Photo by Leslie Dylan

After that, the band made their way back to the stage and played a couple more songs, including “Shake Me Up” and (a personal favorite) “Window;” it was during this song that Austin finally used that megaphone that was sitting on stage, singing into both the megaphone and his microphone at the same time. They played “Glass Heart” before ending their set with their hit single “Set On Fire,” which was absolutely incredible live with that driving banjo line and Austin’s smooth falsetto vocals during the chorus. 

Overall, it was an incredible and beautiful show. When I listen to Magic Giant, I feel a sense of happiness and I imagine being surrounded by lots of colors, and the band really did a good job of portraying these same emotions and ideas live as they do on their album. They are also some of the nicest guys I’ve ever met – I stayed after the show for a while to see if I could meet them, and I did, each of them full of hugs and smiles and warmth and good vibes. They were incredibly welcoming, and we talked about music, Zambricki complemented me on my shoes, and Austin and Zang picked me up and posed for one of the best photos I think I’ve ever taken. They are wonderful people who make equally as wonderful music, and I am so happy to have had the chance to see them. I can only hope that they make their way back to Seattle real soon!

 

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