Magdalena Bay took over The Roxy on Friday. The duo, comprised of Mica Tenenbaum and Matthew Lewin, performed their mixtape series at a sold-out show packed with fans. It was a special experience where we were able to dive into Magdalena Bay's colorful and eclectic world.
A rainbow of lights flooded the room while the drums pulsated through the crowd. They started at the beginning with "Mini Mix Vol. 1," they played their mixtapes front to back. "Afternoon in Heaven" sounded particularly dreamy, Tenenbaum's voice just drifting over the slick production, echoing through the room. "U Wanna Dance" injected electric energy into the room. The guitars and drums sounded so sharp live and added this new layer to the song.
"Mini Mix Vol. 2" started strong with "Live 4Ever," you can feel the room vibrating as the crowd jumps up and down in unison. Pink, blue, and yellow lights circle the room while Magdalena Bay's visuals play as she chants "Body," hypnotizing the audience while they scream the lyrics back; Tenenbaum whips out a cowbell, and the audience gasps in delight. The surprises really never cease to stop. The whole show the nostalgic visuals perfectly mimic the performance adding to the experience. Magdalena Bay knows how to do camp. Their art truly imitates life.
Tenenbaum was pacing like a tiger in a cage, ready to attack at any moment. Their latest, "Mini Mix Vol. 3," felt so fresh. Lewin's shrieking guitars in "EXO" played off Tenenbaum's ethereal vocals, emphasizing how palpable their chemistry is. Their performance of "Top Dog" was right at the cusp of our minds. The song has quickly risen as one of their most popular tracks, and it's clear why. It's an instant earworm.
Tenenbaum twirled on stage with flowing sleeves, adding this effortless movement to their performance that was impossible not to be mesmerized. The band took an intermission, but even the break was specifically curated. Visuals of people reading the word "Nuclear" and an odd rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" with buff backup singers dancing played on the screen. Magdalena Bay makes sure we're constantly fed.
The band came back to the stage in new costumes to perform the last segment of the show. From the intensity of "You Lose!" to the whimsical "Secrets (Your Fire)," they devoured each track with such effortlessness.
Tenenbaum led the crowd into another cult-like chant in "Chaeri," screaming, "Three, four, down to the floor, lose control, little more," and the audience followed as she waved her hands overhead like she was giving a sermon before she let out a curdling scream. It felt so visceral and cathartic.
By the time they got to "Killshot," it felt like everyone was under the spell of Magdalena Bay. They performed the massively popular hit and even stopped to slow down to the "Slowed+Reverb" version that gained so much traction on TikTok before speeding it up again, the audience waving their hands in unison to each version. It was truly a beautiful sight, the ocean of arms all in sync, ebbing and flowing with each change.
It's amazing to see an artist at this moment that's rising so fast play such an expansive catalog to their devoted fanbase. It felt like a moment in time. The crowd will tell their friends later, "I saw them at The Roxy in 2023."