At some point late in 2012, I remember it quite vividly because good things happened that night, I was sitting on my friend’s couch in his Capitol Hill apartment. There were a number of us hanging out, drinking beers, listening to music and just generally having a good time like we always do. One of my friends was DJing tunes from Soundcloud when the song came on.
I’m not quite sure what it was about that particular song. Maybe it was the intro. Maybe it was the drums. I’m don’t know, but the combination of everything in those 3 minutes and 11 seconds had me hooked, enthralled…in love.
“Who is this?” I asked.
I don’t remember much else about what was said, but when I went home late that night, the first thing I did before I went to sleep was find that song on Soundcloud and save it.
I was stoked to find an album and a few singles, but after a while it wasn’t enough. I wanted more. So for a year I stayed glued to Soundcloud, eating up anything that was posted. It was so good.
Then in 2013, my first year attending Decibel Festival, he played at Neumos.
My love was solidified. The drums. The mask. It all made me feel like Depeche Mode had years before. It’s not a feeling I get very often. And this was a completely different sound from Depeche Mode. But it was perfect. For me, it was everything.
Then in 2014, I heard Youth Group. And then I heard Girls.
It was on repeat for days, probably weeks. It was like a drug I couldn’t get enough of, it just hit all the right spots musically, again, for me. Then the album How to Run Away came out. And once again, I was in Neumos on Capitol Hill, bursting to see the man in the mask. Hearing Girls live changed me. And when he jumped into the crowd I was ecstatic. I was too far back but it was a beautiful thing to see.
Then, 3 days ago, I made my way to the main stage. Covered in dirt and exhausted at What the Festival, in the middle of Oregon, I planted myself in front of the stage. I was not going to be in the back. I was going to be up front to see the man in the mask.
I lost it.
I have never danced so hard, without a break, for any set. Ever.
And then during Girls, he picked up his drum, got into the crowd, and I was right there. I was jumping, I was shaking, I was screaming.
At the end of the set, I threw my arms up and wrapped them around my friend, gleefully shouting, “I’m so FUCKING HAPPY right now! I was RIGHT THERE when he jumped off the stage and I am SO HAPPY!”
I don’t think I could ask for a better end to a festival, for a better end to a set.
I have only heard his music. I have never seen his face, only the mask.
Nothing quite makes me feel the way Slow Magic does, not just the music, but also the mask.
You could say I’m having an imaginary love affair with an imaginary friend, who makes wonderful music, in a beautiful glowing mask.