One of the most magical moments of a concert can be the discovery of new music that really speaks to you. If you're lucky, you might just happen across a new band opening for the main act. And last Friday night in New York, that is exactly what happened.
After a scheduling accident at the Gramercy Theatre landed our Atlas Genius concert with a door opening of 10 PM instead of 7 PM, it had already been a night of overstaying our welcome at Banter for dinner, drinking too much Starbucks, and wasting time in Washington Square Park by the time we decided to head to the concert. Needless to say, I was getting tired and needed some music to get me in the right state of mind.
We arrived in time for Magic Giant's full set, and thank God. I had heard their single "Set On Fire" previously, and thought it was great, but didn't really hear from them after that, so I didn't have crazy expectations for what this show was going to be like. To add on, they weren't the headliners, so I didn't think much of them when I saw them on the lineup, to be honest.
I can now safely say I am completely and utterly obsessed.
They are (forgive my pun) absolutely magical. There is no other way to describe them. The three-piece band, hailing from Los Angeles, combines the talents of Austin Bisnow, Zambricki Li, and Zang. Yeah, even their names alone are cooler than you'll ever be.
It was clear from their opening song "Jade" that these guys are full-on Mumford & Sons vibes, complete with a banjo, violin, harmonica, acoustic guitar, and cello. Oh yeah, and some really awesome and catchy lyrics, too.
"Hey Jade, go save the day / 'Cause somebody out there needs you / Don't stay - I'll be okay / 'Cause when I'm alone I'm with you," sang Austin Bisnow. As I looked left and right, I realized that the entire room was singing along with him. Smiling, dancing, shouting the lyrics alongside their friends, it became clear that tons of people had come to this show solely to experience this magic.
Perhaps the greatest moment of their all-too-short set came right in the middle when they slowed it down for a minute. The band began to shush the audience down to whispers.
"Okay, okay, if you guys can get absolutely silent, we'll come into the crowd and do an acoustic song," said Austin.
He grabbed his mic stand, Zang his acoustic guitar, and Zambricki his violin, and hopped the barricade into the middle of the floor. Standing among the crowd they sang "Great Divide," a song about unity, love, and loss. It was as if we were in a small basement instead of a concert venue when everyone began to softly catch onto the lyrics and Austin put his arms around fans, swaying back and forth, and encouraging a large sing-along of "la-da-das".
Luckily, they're still small enough to hang outside the venue after shows to meet fans and say hello. Don't take that for granted, because they are well on their way to sure stardom. If you're looking for more of their sound, check out the video below.
Magic Giant just released their debut album "In The Wind," available everywhere now.