It was a cold and frigid night in Nashville this past Tuesday as I made my way to one of the hottest venues in the city, Brooklyn Bowl. It would be a new experience for me, as this is the one place in the city I had yet to see a show. One part bowling alley, one part concert venue, it’s quickly becoming one of the premiere venues to catch live shows in the state of Tennessee. Not only can you see some of the best live acts in the world, you can even bowl a few frames while doing so. This evening, however, I had no time for strikes. I was here for one reason and one reason only… Magic Sword, a band I would consider my most recent musical obsession. It was a chance Spotify discovery that has led to long listening nights and sharing their unique sound with all of my fellow music obsessives. Luckily for me, they found their way to my city and it was an understatement to say that I was pumped for this event.
This night, Magic Sword shared the stage with legendary Swedish metal gods, Avatar, so I was set for an awesome night of live music.
Magic Sword hail from Boise, Idaho, but at first glance, you would think they come from some futuristic universe where they just got done slaying a dragon that breathed neon fire. Each member was covered in a black hooded robe, wearing face masks with one glowing stripe of color — red, blue and yellow, respectively. While they certainly have a unique look, it doesn’t detract from the fact that these guys are exceptional musicians. Their entire aesthetic is built around mystery: their bio basically reads like a medieval tale and it’s almost impossible to find out anything about their true origins. They even have a comic book available, where you can read the tale of The Weaver, The Keeper and The Seer. If you had to categorize them, I suppose synthwave metal would be the best description, for their music truly transcends any one genre.
It’s typically anyone’s guess as to how people will respond to a live show when there is no singing involved, but the crowd at Brooklyn Bowl went absolutely nuts for these guys. In moments, it felt as if they had the crowd locked into some hypnotic trance and before exploding into heavy metal beats, aggressively shaking the crowd out of their fixation. Magic Sword played some of the coolest grooves I have heard in a long time. I remember multiple people in the crowd tapping me on the shoulder to tell me how great they thought this band was. In my opinion, they weren’t just good…they were excellent. They could easily hold the stage with any metal or EDM musician out there today. Which begs the question… who are these masked men?
Photography by Derek Jones