Magic City Hippies Brought Psychedelic Beach Rock to the Ogden Theatre

The night began with CAPYAC, a fearless group that stands as one of the most unique live acts to grace the Ogden this year. The group’s theatrics held an almost improvisational tone that was both exciting and confusing. This past year the core band members, P Sugz and DJ Potion remixed, “High Beams” from the Magic City Hippies’ most recent album before joining them on the Winter Tour.  

Magic City Hippies

Tour Poster for Magic City Hippies’ Winter Tour

CAPYAC’s instruments were covered in patterns of eyeballs and a man onstage clutched a comically large amount of celery with joy. As an experimental song progressed he began to rip the vegetable to pieces, shoving some in his mouth and throwing the rest into the crowd. “On My Own” with Ciceley Fullylove and “Sanctuary” showcased the group’s more traditional talents with blends of keys and guitar over complex rhythms. A cover of “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus got the crowd singing comfortably as the instrumentals slowly transformed into a disco groove. 

Suddenly the set transformed into a battle of musicians between “Cowbell Man” (Harry Terrel, who would later be playing drums for Magic City Hippies) appropriately playing only a cowbell, and “Cool Ricky” (DJ Potion) on the keyboard drum kit. In the end, the crowd deemed Cowbell Man the winner. 

Magic City Hippies

Photo courtesy of CAPYAC

The group closed with their upbeat single “GOODTIME,”  embellished with vocals from Fullylove that rocked the crowd. Lights flashed aggressively as the tempo sped towards a rave destination that Denver quickly adjusted to.

After the chaos of CAPYAC, a purple haze filled the stage. The Magic City Hippies emerged and jumped into “Queen” off their most recent album Water Your Garden released in 2022. Smooth guitar, keys, and vocals flowed over the audience in waves. As the beachy song came to an end the band jumped tracks, dropping into “Indiana” and then “Franny” both from their 2019 album, Modern Animal. The band blended through the first three songs with gusto before pausing to address the audience. “This is the most tickets we have ever sold for a show.” said lead singer Robby Hunter as he caught his breath. 

The Magic City Hippies early days as the Robby Hunter Band.

After reminiscing about the journey the band has been on for the past decade Hunter called to all long-time fans with “Never Say No” from the band’s original album under their original name, the Robby Hunter Band.

As the nostalgic song came to a close, Elton John’s iconic piano line from, “Benny And The Jets” emerged and elated the crowd. The Magic City Hippies have a knack for incorporating heavy sound, primarily in their bass lines, electric guitar and vocals no matter how uptempo or light the song may be. This flair created a truly unique cover that even was further enriched by the crowd’s voice. 

As the show continued the band glided effortlessly through smooth songs like “Ghost on the Mend” and “Water You Garden,” each with a unique groove to transport fans to a hazy beachside party. “Champagne On The Rider” moved toward a more sultry side of the band’s discography. The entirely male group, each dressed with a unique yet upscale style, had no issue leaning into this persona. 

With a dark turn the instrumentals of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” by The Beatles sunk into the crowd. Beatle’s fans could barely contain their shock as the cult classic rose and fell. This heavy bass and electric guitar with lusting vocals could arguably be seen as the origination of Magic City Hippies’ current sound.  

During “Qué Pasó,” another 2012 throwback, Jake Pinto snuck up to the left balcony to perform a keyboard solo, almost taunting the band below him. Cutting off the vocals, Hunter made his way into the crowd. Once fully submerged his mic came back on and he said “This is one of my favorite parts of the show… can everybody flip off the band?” Middle fingers were thrust passionately at the stage as the band glided through the song. “Fanfare” showcased Hunter’s quick yet heavy-hitting vocals and brought the set to a close. 

The Ogden chanted “one more song” and fans showed no sign of leaving without more from the stage. The band returned with a bottle of champagne that they popped on stage. Hunter dedicated “Hush” to his girlfriend and began the nearly six-minute odyssey that describes a “beautiful poison born to drive men mad.”

If you are intrigued by the possibility of psychedelic beach rock and dreamy effects, be sure to check out Magic City Hippies. One thing is for sure, this is a live act you should not miss next time they make their way through Colorado.