Here We Go Magic Gets It

July 20th, 2012

Here We Go Magic – Music Hall of Williamsburg – July 19, 2012

In an increasingly more crowded Brooklyn landscape, where it its inhabitants stumble over themselves to be cool, Here We Go Magic has settled into the mix and established credibility in an unassuming way. The danger with wanting to stand out and be noticed is that all too often the focus lands on style and image rather than on substance. But Here We Go Magic has recognized this pitfall, which is precisely what makes them cool. Essentially, they have quietly matured into a band that understands that you can’t try too hard.

This is not to say that Here We Go Magic has emerged from the Brooklyn music scene, where they formed in 2008, without hard work. To be sure, you can’t acquire the production services of Nigel Godrich, the man behind Radiohead, without being dedicated and serious about making great music. The Godrich-produced A Different Ship is one of the best albums of the year, and a reflection of Magic’s quiet confidence in the record was put forth last night at Music Hall of Williamsburg, when it was played in its entirety. Feeling right at home on their native turf, the band strode onstage with the nonchalance of a group about to rehearse rather than perform.

The approach didn’t hinder them one bit as they barely missed a beat in a set that toed the line between loose freedom and honed execution. The beauty of Here We Go Magic’s most recent music lies in its restraint, and this quality, in both substance and delivery, lured the room gradually into warm appreciation of what they were hearing. Band founder, Luke Temple, eased into each song, sharing the stage presence and vocal duties with his mates, embodying the invaluable attitude that develops with experience: Real coolness is not about force-feeding and shouting what you have to offer, but rather genuinely going about your business and humbly appreciating when others take notice of your worth. Here We Go Magic gets this. Upon leaving the show with a smile and a nod, I noticed that the new album was being offered at the merchandise table in old-school cassette format, and I immediately thought to myself, “Now that’s cool.” —Charles Steinberg

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg |