By Samuel Stevens
The final concert of Winnipeg’s annual Red River Exhibition took place on a beautiful Summer’s evening with the music being provided by none other than the Canadian Reggae fusion band MAGIC! The band, who hail out of Toronto, Ontario, were joined by the rising Canadian talent of Mathew V, who resides out of Vancouver, British Columbia.
Mathew V began the evening off with an impressive set of approximately 40 minutes at the Red River Ex to warm up the crowd for MAGIC! The set, which featured many originals off his recently released 10 track debut album, The Fifth, with such songs as the emotionally driven, “Let Me Go”, and his current single, “Tell Me Smooth”. He also performed a cover of Britney Spears’ 1998 hit single, “…Baby One More Time” and a cover of Mariah Carey’s 1995 hit song, “Always Be My Baby”. This was Mathew V’s first time in Winnipeg and it sure seemed like it left many in the audience leaving as brand new fans of his and hopefully Winnipeg is graced with the presence of Mathew V once again in the near future, possibly on a tour for The Fifth.
The next act up to the stage was MAGIC! who are known for their signature sound fusing the two genres of Pop and Reggae together. Also known as Reggae fusion. Although the band has been together for approximately 7 years, this was the first ever performance by the band in Winnipeg. It was mentioned by vocalist, Nasri, after the show while meeting with fans, that this was the band’s first concert in approximately 6 months and features a whole new set than what they’ve played in the past.
The band delivered an impressive 15 song set, opening up with their massively popular 2013 hit song, “Rude” off their debut album, Don’t Kill the Magic. Then making their way into their second album, Primary Colours’ lead single, “Lay You Down Easy”. The band’s performance also included a drum solo by drummer, Alex Tanas in the middle of the set. Shortly after MAGIC! performed a Reggae rendition of Drake’s 2016 hit, “Hotline Bling”. The band closed off their strong performance with an even stronger end, starting off with the live debut performance of their brand new single, “Kiss Me”, which will be featured on their forthcoming album. Proceeded by the title track off of the bands album, Don’t Kill the Magic and ending the set off beautifully with a cover of The Beatles’ 1969 song “Come Together”. Which is the opening track off The Beatles’ now famously known album, Abbey Road.
Previously mentioned above, the band released a new brand single, “Kiss Me” earlier this month on June 8th and the song’s live debut happened in Winnipeg. With new singles, means a new album is on it’s way very soon. During the bands performance vocalist, Nasri, announced that the band will be back in Winnipeg again this fall on their first ever Canadian headline tour. At the moment not many details are known about this upcoming tour, so make sure to look out for these tour dates in the coming weeks. An announcement for the band’s third full length album, which should be out late this summer or in the fall, should be coming sometime soon as well.
Many more photos captured at the event can be viewed right here.