As intended, their timing is perfect. Nearly 13 months after last visiting Madison and only weeks after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, wizard-rock pioneers Harry and the Potters are returning to town. Along with their serpentine tourmates Draco and the Malfoys, this duo of chosen ones from Boston will be playing at the DeForest Area Performing Arts Center on Monday, Aug. 6, at 6:30 p.m. Everybody attending this free show is asked to bring a nonperishable food item for the DeForest Area Food Pantry, and the wearing of striped ties and other Potterverse accoutrements is encouraged.
Both bands last played in town in July 2006 for a show at the University Book Store in Hilldale, only a couple of weeks before the paperback release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Madison music vlogger Aaron Veenstra attended the show, and shot a handful of video clips of both bands performances. A live concert video of Harry and the Potters playing "I Am a Wizard" follows, along with other clips of the group and their touring partners/nemeses Draco and the Malfoys.
There are several other videos of last summer's Hilldale show shot by Veenstra. These include feature Harry and the Potters playing their ode to Sirius Black in "The Godfather" (here), as well as "Problem Solving Skillz" (here) and "Keeping Secrets from Me" (here), and Draco and the Malfoys' love song "Pansy" (here).
Veenstra describes the effects wizard rock may have on the music scene in Madison:
Mostly in costume, they played from atop banquet hall chairs and a coffeetable to simulate the effect of a stage. They also got what I can only call a stunning response from the audience -- the crowd of predominantly middle school-looking kids seemed to be quite familiar with most of their material. Considering that this is a band that started when, a few years ago, two brothers made up a bunch of songs about Harry Potter to amuse their friends, I'm really impressed with what they've been able to build using the Internet for word-of-mouth.
I've also got to say that, stylistically, I love that they're playing untempered indie rock whose lyrics just happen to deal with a popular book and film series. It's a kind of music that most of their audience would otherwise not get to hear very readily -- it doesn't get played on the radio or even on TV that much. If some of the kids at this show find themselves graduating to local acts like the Nervous System or the German Art Students in a few years, this band will have done a tremendous service.