Georgia’s first taste of the Slow and Magical was on September 11, 2013, when Gold Panda decided to swoop into the south and play a few shows in Georgia and Louisiana. Riding the wave of fame fueled by his Australian tour earlier that year— a tour that was afforded to him by the success of his 2010 single, “You”—Gold Panda was the talk of the town that weekend. Both Speakeasy and REP, a pair of nightlife and promotion companies most notable for bringing acts like Ill Gates, Wick-It the Instigator, RJD2, Blockhead, and Archnemisis to Atlanta, hosted the event. The Basement right below Graveyard venue was absolutely packed. Heady vibes mingled through Dark Room’s opening set, but a reaction stirred in the crowd as the elusive enigma Slow Magic took the stage. Something about the glowing jackal’s face on his LED mask took the audience by surprise. Before him sat two tom drums, and in his hands two sticks. The set that ensued was beautiful, energetic, and full of colors. At the end of his show he stepped off the stage and into the crowd, toting his tom drums and beating on them to the beat of his own music. By comparison, Gold Panda’s set was almost unimpressive.
Credit: Adam Orfale
Flash-forward to last Thursday night in Athens where “Slow Magic” is written on the marquis outside the Georgia Theatre. Opening the night were a duo from Wyoming called Head to Head, a pair of drummers that play on a snare and tom while they DJ. Their high energy set was subdued by the beauty of Feverkin’s performance, a smooth sample storm of ambience. The whole show flowed beautifully and embodied the Imaginary Pop blend of downtempo and vibrant energy that Slow Magic is known for, and when he took the stage in front of cheering fans who have supported him over the past 3 years. Many of the girls in attendance painted whiskers and other designs on their cheeks and chins, a tribute to the colorful attire that disguises the indie musician. Toward the end of his performance, the two drummers joined Slow Magic on stage and played along to the last few songs of the night.
If it is possible, the man beneath the mask is even more impressive in person, and his demeanor is refined and grounded. He is a man that enjoys performing as much as possible, so he has been touring consistently for over three years. “I’m playing in Nashville tomorrow,” he said, “then Asheville after that.” It seems like every weekend Slow Magic is popping up at different venues around the country, spreading his influence in as many venues as possible. Producing music has consumed the past month for Slow Magic, which is good news for fans who are eager to hear new music. Earlier that week he had rediscovered one of his original Ableton Live files, so he rebuilt and renovated the setup in preparation for this performance. Much like the incorporation of his drums over electronic music, his live sets embody a bit of the old and the new.
Next month, Slow Magic will be playing at Sasquatch! festival in Washington, sharing stages with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Flume, SBTRKT, and Odesza. In early August, Slow Magic is booked at Hard Summer music fest, a massive two-day event in California featuring Jack Ü, The Weeknd, Tchami, and The Glitch Mob. Slow Magic admitted that he has “progressively tried to play more upbeat stuff for festivals,” which are often overrun with musicians that cater to the “main stage mentality.” He does not need to change a thing, though, because seeing Slow Magic live in concert is a unique experience full of positive spirit and energy. The next time you see his name on a flyer, snag a presale ticket, mark your calendar, and tell your friends to do the same. You won’t regret it.