Alex Sieklicki ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Slow Magic, coming off the release of his sophomore album How To Run Away on September 9th, visited the Sinclair as part of his corresponding tour. If you don’t know who Slow Magic is, well, that’s because no one really does. He’s an enigma, a masked musician who doesn’t say a word onstage, but rather communicates with us through his sounds and actions. This unique approach to performance certainly did not disappoint.
Even before he stepped onstage, the hype for the man who describes himself as “everyone’s imaginary friend” was through the roof. The previous two acts, Daktyl and Kodak to Graph, had pumped up the audience but when it came time for Slow Magic to come on, it seemed like the population of the Sinclair doubled. Throughout the crowd, fans donned masks themed after his, which pulsed with the music. A pair of clear drums were lit up with shifting colors, and, at last, our imaginary friend came out to play.
The night started off with “Still Life” off the new album, which shifts from a mellow piano introduction to blaring synths that signified the beginning of our journey together. Slow Magic jammed wildly on his drums between adding effects to his music, switching seamlessly from his MIDI controller to the central drum set. These passionate drumbeats and unique distortions of his songs gave even the biggest fans something new and exciting.
Up next was “Waited 4 U,” one of the few songs with lyrics that fans were able to sing along to. Naturally, everyone took the opportunity. The whole crowd sang along to the vocal track, creating a sort of haunting yet passionate chorus as a part of our collective experience. Other tracks played off the new album included the masterfully layered “Girls” and the wistful “Youth Group.”
Also on the set list were several remixes, starting with a very well-received remix of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name,” along with “I’m God” by Clams Casino and “Even Though” by Giraffage. Even though some of these have been previously released, Slow Magic brought new life to them with his mixing and pounding rhythms.
The best part of the performance though was Slow Magic’s interactions with the audience. Between songs he would show his love with a hand-heart, and he pointed out every single fan who was wearing a matching mask. At one point, he took his MIDI mixer off the table and held it down to the crowd, allowing the fans to actually become part of his music by wildly mashing buttons. And twice during the set, he actually took his drum down off the stage and brought it into the audience where he improvised wildly in the middle of the crowd. No one could argue with the fact that this glowing, animal-faced man was really our friend.
He held up a finger indicating that there was just one song left for the night, and finished off with the crowd-pleaser “Corvette Cassette” from his first album ‘▲’. Slow Magic held up one last hand heart and left everyone feeling something. Maybe it was friendship, maybe it was joy, maybe we don’t know what it was at all, but our imaginary friend left us with a tangible something.
As the audience rushed out to buy the last few remaining masks and t shirts before the final act of the night went on, I managed to catch up with the artist himself before he disappeared into the night. I asked him why fans should buy the new album, and he thought for a second before saying the first words I had heard from him that night. “I don’t care… I just want them to listen to it. I love you.”
Overall, it was unlike any concert because it wasn’t really a concert. It was just friends having fun together. If you ever get the chance to go to one of Slow Magic’s playdates, I highly recommend it. Who knows when you’ll get your next chance to make music with an imaginary friend.
For more on Slow Magic, visit his website.