Story by Anita Stewart, Managing Editor and Photos by Chyrisse Tabone, Editor
Date of Show: December 7, 2021
Venue: The Crowbar, Ybor City, Tampa
Tuesday is an off night in Ybor City. The parking garages are rather deserted and only a few partygoers walk the streets between the bars. Walking to the Crowbar we noticed several homeless people taking up residence in some of the doorways for warmth. The venue is a popular watering hole and small-sized with a full bar, not much seating, and the standard stage with open floor in front of it. The Happy Fits, M.A.G.S. and The Snarls were on the bill (although we missed The Snarls, unfortunately).
Los Angles-based M.A.G.S. took the stage about 15 minutes after we arrived. The band’s acronym stands for “Marijuana and Good Sex.” The band is led by multi-instrumentalist Elliott Douglas, the son of a preacher and originally from Buffalo, New York. The set was lively pop and loved by local fans, mostly women that knew all the lyrics and sang along. The music is could also be considered alt-rock with a touch of punk and some 90’s styling.
Sponsored by ONErpm, M.A.G.S’s tour is promoting the new 14-track album Say Things That Matter by Take This To Heart Records. Elliott is perfect as the front man and his backing band are pretty kick-ass with a rhythm guitarist, a bass player and a drummer. One would never know they have all known each other for about six months.
Rock at Night got to speak with Douglas at the merch booth for a few minutes after his set. He explained his main influence is not from other artists but spawned from within himself, friends from prior bands and the church. Douglas began playing music at the age of 12 by performing drums in his church. He had an innate sense of rhythm and never took lessons.
Regarding the current tour, he explained, “The response has been incredible and I have been able to meet a lot of my fans, people who have been listening to me for years. I didn’t even know they existed, people I interact with on Instagram and Twitter and they come up to me in real life saying ‘there you are.’ It’s been crazy and ultimately a life changing experience!” Upcoming tour info is HERE. Remember this guy’s name–he’s a force.
The Happy Fits from New Jersey were on next and I have to say, one of the best indie bands I have seen lately. With adoring fans in the audience, they played bouncy, happy and uplifting folky pop music–almost Beatle-esque in parts–and we just loved how they made us feel. Smooth, hook-filled lyrics and melodic lines are still swimming around in my head–and I want to hear more!
The band is: Ross Monteith on guitar, Calvin Langman on cello and Luke Davis (drums). The band met in high school but began writing music together while attending Rutgers University. Some of their musical influences include: The Killers, Black Keys and Young The Giant and Mumford and Sons.
Again, the fans for this night’s show were mostly women singing along–they knew all the lyrics and there was a lot of band and audience engagement. After thousands of plays on Spotify, they have a broad appeal to music lovers everywhere and ended up on many playlists! Their current tour is extending into Spring of 2022 and you can check out the upcoming dates HERE.
The Happy Fits
M.A.G.S. SOCIAL MEDIA
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