To say Magic City Hippies’ indie funk music is infectious to dance to is an understatement. Every member in the audience was up and dancing in Union South, from college kids to a 50-year old lady in the back.
Even with a smaller stage and crowd compared to their last concert at the Majestic theater, the Miami-based band played all the way up in the colder city of Madison for a second concert, bringing their funky, beach-infused sound with them and creating a feeling of warmth that radiated from their performance.
The band has a high-energy, fun sound, and their stage presence matches it. The chemistry of Robby Hunter (vocals/guitar), Pat Howard (drummer/producer) and John Coughlin (guitar/vocals) is evident when they’re on stage. The energy picked up in the crowd after their psychedelic rendition of “Hush,” with the audience picking up the band’s charisma.
Hunter was especially charismatic, talking and joking between the songs. Both he and Pat Howard wore Wisconsin shirts, and he frequently thanked the audience for the support shown for the Miami band all the way in Wisconsin, where his parents actually went to school.
While their indie funk music was always a hit with the crowd, the Magic City Hippies also switched it up by playing covers of two hip-hop favorites. The rendition of “Big Poppa” by The Notorious BIG was decent, but the best cover was “Caroline” by Aminé. The popular party hit was perfect for this band’s energy, and the crowd ate it up.
After seemingly finishing their set with their most popular song “Fanfare,” those in the crowd were begging for an encore. They came back out and finished up for real with the best song of the night — and my personal favorite song — “Bull Ride.” Coughlin’s guitar really shined during this song, and the psychedelic synths in the background created still more energy in the crowd.
The Magic City Hippies have loved playing in Madison, and it’s clear that Madison loves them back. A new album is coming soon, according to Hunter, but as he said it, “Soon is a relative term.” Well, I’m hoping that they’ll be returning to Madison soon, bringing their sunny sound with them.