Indie rock fledglings Magic Giant are already making a huge wave in the music world. Having formed in 2014, the trio released their self-titled EP the following year to critical acclaim. They recorded their album “Inside a Redwood tree off the coast of California; within a tunnel by Snoqualmie Pass; on an airstrip in Marble, Colorado; in a wild daisy field near Crested Butte…”, trying to capture the eclectic sounds of America in every track. Their hard work paid off, and by 2016, Magic Giant were on the bill for several huge festivals, including Electric Forest and Wanderlust. As their notoriety grew, more and more people came to their live shows and saw what all the fuss is about; the band’s music is exciting, but their live show is something that can’t be missed.
Last week, the California folk artists came to Chicago and played a show at Lincoln Hall, an intimate venue that held about 300 ecstatic people that night. Talking to some concertgoers, it was clear that Magic Giant is amassing a diehard group of fans that will follow them wherever they go. Some people had come up from Champagne, while others lived in Chicago but had traveled to Colorado and California to see previous shows.
The opening act, Minor Moon, was a much more mellow act than Magic Giant, but still incredibly talented. The local jazz/folk band cracked a few dad jokes and played songs that felt like they should be listened to in the moonlight. Similar to Nick Drake or Norah Jones, Minor Moon’s lyrics are heartfelt and simple. Lead singer and guitarist Sam Cantor is a teacher at The Old Town School of Folk Music as well. The band have a new 5-track EP out called What Our Enemies Know that’s available to stream on SoundCloud.
When Magic Giant took to the stage, the small venue radiated with screams and cheers. The band could have been coming onstage at the United Center with the noise coming from Lincoln Hall! Diving right into their album, singer/songwriter Austin Bisnow grabbed a giant drum and interacted with the crowd, smiling and grabbing hands that reached for him. Banjo player (among other instruments) Zambricki Li and guitarist Zang jumped onto the speakers on either side of the stage and had the entire crowd singing along. Bisnow jumped into the crowd and had every single person sitting on the floor then gradually standing up before finally jumping up in unison. No one at this show was stood still. The entire performance was filled with dancing, jumping, clapping, and singing.
It’s truly hard to believe that Magic Giant aren’t already multi-platinum selling artists; their energy and positivity make them feel like a million bucks.