Review + Live Photos: The Hotline Spring Tour

Words and photos by Savana Ogburn

When the Hotline Spring Tour was announced early this year, I was ecstatic. As a massive fan of Drake’s pastel pink-hued tunes as well as the dreamy electronic band, Magic Man, it was the perfect combination. Add in the catchy indie-rock of opener Panama Wedding and the energetic, spunky electro-rock of Australian quartet The Griswolds, and you’ll have the rainbow-swirled party that kept fans dancing allllll night long.

The Griswolds took the stage to roars from fans, and immediately jumped into the bouncy track, “Down and Out”. The synth intro was the perfect opener to their live set and the band’s infectious energy had the crowd jumping and shouting the background vocals back at lead singer Chris Whitehall, who cheerfully interacted with them throughout the duration of the set. It should be noted that I had heard The Griswolds maybe…once? Ever? And I left the venue on Wednesday night as a new fan– their shiny, pristine, electronic rock paired with Whitehall’s punk aesthetic and the jocose aggression of their crowd had me mesmerized for the entirety of the set. The only way to describe them is the perfect happy medium between sugary pop music and the excitement and sweaty energy of a punk show.

After 45 minutes of people watching (The Griswolds and Magic Man pull a pretty rad group of fans, thankfully!) and anxiously anticipating Magic Man’s set, venue lights dimmed, and keyboardist Fran Litterski, bassist Austin Luther, drummer Pepe Hidalgo, and guitarist Sam Lee took the stage to the intro of “Apollo” (the second track on the band’s 2014 release, Before the Waves). Shortly thereafter, in a whirl of Hawaiian print and pure, unadultered happiness, appeared lead singer, Alex Caplow, already dancing enthusiastically to the music (this continued throughout the entire evening, much to the crowd’s approval). The fast paced, dance-demanding tune, Texas, was a standout song in Magic Man’s set, keeping fans jumping and singing along in a swirl of rainbow hued lights.

The Hotline Spring tour essentially combined all of my (and let’s be honest, probably a large majority of other music fans’) absolute favorite aspects of live music– the gleefulness of a pop show, the energy and occasional belligerence (but in this case, not harmful belligerence!) of a punk show, and a dreamy, sunset-hued production. Sadly the tour has ended, but thankfully its FEELING LIVES ON by way of Magic Man’s upcoming new album– follow them, jam their music, and dance yr socks off, as you should. ✿


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