Friday, April 17

Let's See a Show! Band of Brothers Road Show with Magic Giant and American Authors

In the toughest times, I'm thankful I can turn to music to help brighten my spirits.

Back before this whole wave of social distancing began, I attended a show featuring Magic Giant and American Authors at the historic Scoot Inn here in Austin. Despite the frigid outdoor temps, the crowd was ready to jump. And we were in luck, because these two headliners are energetic as heck.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say Magic Giant is one of the most bouncy shows I've ever seen. The trio gets calf workouts for days, bounding around the stage like dogs that have just discovered a new field to play in. And I say that in the most complimentary way possible. I loved their set, full of jams like the head bopper "Disaster Party."

Between Austin Bisnow on lead vocals and keys, Zambricki Li on viola, banjo, and harmonica, and Zang rocking the acoustic guitar and cello, these gents will improve your mood. Their older songs are a bit more folk-y sounding (no wonder LA Weekly called them "cool as folk") while their newer stuff is more pop-centric; either way, you really can't go wrong. The energy certainly made it difficult to capture photos, but I managed to snap a few fun ones that showcase some of that excitement. Check them out at the bottom of the post.

Oh, and how about the time when Magic Giant came out into the crowd to perform acoustically? I'M ONBOARD.

I had seen American Authors once before; they opened for The Royal Concept, another band that knows how to put a toe-tapper together. That was a few years ago, and I think they sound even tighter now. Though they didn't play my favorite song of theirs (you can hear that one below), they had plenty of fun moments, as well. They also spent some time among the crowd, scaring the heck out of me by launching into a pounding bass drum, tambourine, and additional percussion breakdown directly behind where I was standing as they started their second set.

American Authors is most known for its smash single "Best Day of My Life," which has an alternate music video version of a dog getting adopted that is just too cute for school. But the quartet of Zac Barnett (vocals, guitar), James Adam Shelley (guitar, banjo), Dave Rublin (bass), and Matt Sanchez (drums) offer plenty of firepower, especially with singalong choruses and positive messages.

I hope more shows adopt the setup of this tour – the two headliners went back and forth, each getting in a couple of mini-sets. Let's get more of this! Five songs for one, five songs for the other, five songs for the first, five songs for the second, then close it out with a big ol' party. We all know the worst part of any show (other than someone stepping on your toes) is the downtime between sets. This greatly eliminates that and makes for a fantastic time. Artists and venues, please keep that going.

It may be a while until we can get out and enjoy live shows again. Luckily, we can still support artists making great music by buying or streaming songs and albums and picking up merch. Until then, be safe, and hope to see you at the next show.

UPDATE: Magic Giant is doing a "Live From Quarantine" virtual festival series, featuring performances from The Lumineers, Jason Mraz, Woody Harrelson, and a whole lot more. You can check it out on Instagram Live this weekend (4/19) at 2pm PT. 

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