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The Magnets: 90s Rewind - Adelaide Fringe Review

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by Tema (subscribe)
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Photo by Fatema Sitabkhan

When you think of 90s music, a cappella may not be the first thing that pops into your head and yet, the talented squad from The Magnets (with a couple of fresh faces) have proven themselves worthy of taking on that challenge by allowing us to appreciate the music from - what I personally believe to be the golden years of music - in a whole new light (and sound). Now, I've been going to The Magnets' shows for the past two years and have always walked away smiling ear-to-ear, so I knew that this was going to be my most favourite show by them yet. After all, it is a show where five (very attractive) guys, each with a signature voice and style of singing, take centre stage and serenade the audiences with some of the greatest smash hits from the 90s.

Hosting their show in the speakeasy-style venue - The Wonderland Spiegeltent - there are booth-style and stall-style seatings that allow people from any angle to get a generous glimpse of the guys, as they are illuminated in bright strobe lights and hit the notes with unreal precision. Dressed to impress with the theme of the show, I instantly noticed that each member of the band donned at least one outfit accessory that was reminiscent of the 90s - from wearing their caps backwards to wearing a graphic tee with Kurt Cobain's face on it to wearing a leather jacket (that thankfully worked out well, given the chilly night outside) to wearing distressed black overalls - there was a very strong 90's vibe happening and I was 100% there for it.

Welcoming two new faces to their family, the current Magnets team includes Aaron Boykin and Alfredo Austin - both of whom bring with them a strong musical talent from the United States and add a playful charm and charisma to the overall brotherhood and camaraderie that further enhances the essence of the show. Returning crew members include beatboxing extraordinaire Nicholas Girard and Callum McIntosh, along with Michael Conway, who is able to hit several notes and octaves quite effortlessly. Over the 60 minutes, we were treated to an ambitious setlist of 41 songs that included the likes of AC DC's Thunder, SEAL's Kiss From A Rose, Cher's Believe, Bryan Adams' Everything I Do, Backstreet Boys' Everybody, and even a couple of Disney favourites (think from Lion King and The Little Mermaid) sprinkled into the mix. Their final act is just over 12 minutes long and involves a medley that combines the tunes of a number of smash hits and for them to seamlessly integrate the songs as one major track needs to be listened to be marvelled at.

The level of synchronization and harmony that is demonstrated by the five guys can't help but make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It never ceases to blow my mind whenever I find myself watching The Magnets perform live - the guys possess an energy that is so infectious and encouraging that you simply can't help but sport the biggest smile on your face, as you participate in a collective singalong. When you have an audience that sways and swoons to the sounds produced by these five guys (who use no instruments whatsoever and govern the entire show with just their vocal cords), you know that you are in excellent company with a quality performance taking place right before your eyes. Despite what emotions may evoke on hearing the term "boyband" that is often used to describe The Magnets, these guys are so much more than eye candy (which is a bonus, sure!). They have talent and potential in their voices, their camaraderie is humbling, their support for each other during their individual moments to shine is awe-inspiring, and they have seriously good taste when it comes to handpicking from the best hits to ensure everyone in the audience (of any and all ages) has a grand time.

A special highlight of the show that I went to involved a beautiful and energetic family with kids ranging from 11 years all the way up to adults in their late 30s or 40s, belting out to the lyrics sung by the guys on stage - it was simply astounding to see how much the kids knew the lyrics and dressed for the part rather stylishly, despite not having grown up in the 90s. It was inspiring to say the least and reignited my love for karaoke (much to my friends' dismay)! I also enjoyed the way the show was structured, in the sense that there was a balance of having a performance, followed by a brief but wholesome introduction to each of the guys who were performing on stage. It gave us in the audience a chance to personally connect with each member of The Magnets, by learning their stories, by seeing them shine in the spotlight (literally and metaphorically speaking), and by getting a brilliant blend of insane talent and devilishly delicious personalities.

Whether you were born in the 90s, grew up with 90s music playing in your backyard, or simply loved the iconic music that shaped (many) of our childhoods, this show by The Magnets will invoke a lot of nostalgia and will make you feel like taking a trip down memory lane to relive the magic of the music of the 90s, which has been given an uplifting and upbeat twist. The guys make it very clear how important and meaningful this performance is to them; by coming together as a diverse group of talented individuals who are able to nail the different octaves involved in making these songs the hits that they are.

Having already been to the show once this year, I am planning to go back sometime during the final two weeks before the show wraps up for the season, as the band will be adding Mc Zani (world champion beatboxer who has worked for Jay Sean). There are also plans to include a sign language interpreter at one of their shows over the upcoming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled and follow the guys via their social media platforms for more details.

Date attended: 15/02/2020
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★

The Magnets: 90s Rewind will be at Gluttony till March 15, 2020 as part of Adelaide Fringe. Book your tix here.

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For those looking to book tickets to The Magnets over the next few weeks, use the code PARTY25 for 25% off full-price tickets to watch their show during the Adelaide Fringe season.

Photo by Fatema Sitabkhan
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Why? Singing to the bangers from the 90s - how could it possibly get better?
When: Adelaide Fringe season
Where: Rymill Park / Murlawirrapurka, Cnr East Tce & Rundle Rd, Adelaide, SA, 5000
Cost: $30 - $45
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