Portland music lovers had a chance to enjoy two outstanding bands Wednesday evening, when the much-loved local band Weather Machine played a double-bill with Magic Giant, a southern California band on tour from Venice Beach, California.

The Venue

To add to the night’s enchantment, the venue itself – Mississippi Studios – was highly memorable and noteworthy.

Built, owned and operated by musicians, it boasts an attractive stage area with the most incredible acoustics this music reviewer has heard in a long time. Located in the heart of Historic Mississippi District, Mississippi Studios also has an informal but well-run eatery that includes an outdoor seating area for casual dining and cold brews.

The night opened with Portland’s Weather Machine singing “The Wonder Show” from their upcoming album. The Indie / Folk Rock band first formed two years ago and has performed all over the state.

Listen to “The Wonder Show”

Magic Giant

Southern California’s Magic Giant then took the stage, and performed an outstanding setlist of their own. Opening with “Other Suns,” they wowed the crowd with exuberant showmanship that just kept growing as the evening progressed. This band has a charm and charisma all their own, engaging fans with skilled musicianship, rousing sing-a-longs and even a couple of expertly-performed line dances that kept the crowd singing, smiling and laughing for the duration.

Here’s “Glass Heart”:

About Magic Giant  

Magic Giant are: Austin Bis, lead vocals; John Zambricki, banjo, mandolin, fiddle and backing vocals; and Brian Zaghi, upright bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals.

Encore! After singing every song in their repertoire, Magic Giant left the stage but an orderly and persistent cry of “encore!” ensued from the crowd.

I predict this fun group of young music makers will easily establish a larger fan base but will need a bit more time away from touring to write songs for the longer shows sure to come. Upcoming venues include New York, and Los Angeles’ The Troubadour.

Let’s wish both bands all the best.

Finally, keep an eye on Mississippi Studios for future shows of your favorite artists and bands. This venue is both intimate and lovely, and the sound system is not to be missed.