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Fran Litterski prepares for a performance while on tour with Magic Man. Credit: Courtesy of CJ Moy

It’s Magic: Local musician tours with national band

Just over a year ago, in March 2015, Fran Litterski stood in the audience of Newport Music Hall taking in a performance by Boston-based band Magic Man.

This Friday she will arrive at the same venue, except this time she will be performing on stage with Magic Man.

Litterski, a local musician, was chosen to be the band’s keyboardist for its Hotline Spring tour. She said she had met the band a couple of times before through her job at radio station CD102.5, and she reached out to them when she heard they were in need of a tour keyboardist.

“I just reached out to their manager and was like, ‘Hey, I could do those things,’” she said.

In December, Litterski went to Boston to try out and even did a trial live show with the band and said they “meshed really well.”

In July, Magic Man, who at the time had five members, announced it would be paring back down to the original two founding members, lead singer Alex Caplow and guitarist Sam Lee.

Litterski, bassist Austin Luther and drummer Pepe Hidalgo later joined to fill the band for the tour. She said the fans have been receptive, often calling her over to chat.

“I feel like we’ve been welcomed into the Magic Man family, which is really nice,” Litterski said.

Litterski has been on tours before with her Columbus-based band, Kid Runner, but said the tour with Magic Man is the longest and most intense tour she has been a part of, spanning from the beginning of April to the end of May with 32 stops.

“With Kid Runner, most of the little tours we did were just us in the van driving around and stopping wherever we could,” Litterski said. “I know Magic Man did that a couple of years ago, but I kind of joined Magic Man at a point where it’s a little nicer than that.”

Magic Man performs a show as part of its Hotline Spring tour, which will make a stop in Columbus on Friday. Credit: Courtesy of CJ Moy

Magic Man performs a show as part of its Hotline Spring tour, which will make a stop in Columbus on Friday. Credit: Courtesy of CJ Moy

A memorable moment for Litterski so far was the first show of the tour, in a sold-out venue in Carrboro, North Carolina, a place she had never been before.

The first song she remembered hearing by Magic Man is its single, “Paris.”

“I think the most surreal part was the first show I played with them, and we played ‘Paris’ last,” Litterski said. “I was playing the intro to ‘Paris,’ and I remember thinking like, this is insane that I’m playing this song with them right now.”

Drew Lizon, lead singer of Kid Runner, said he was a little surprised to learn that Litterski was going on tour, as their band was in the middle of writing and recording a new EP when she told them the news.

Upon learning of her departure, the band immediately went into the studio and recorded the EP, finishing the day before she left.

“It kind of sucks that she’s gone for two months,” Lizon said. “It keeps her away from Kid Runner, but at the same time it’s kind of cool; we’re really excited for her.”

Lizon said the band plans to release the EP in mid-June, around the time Litterski gets back from tour, and she said she will be focusing on the Columbus-based band more this summer.

Litterski said she will know about her future with Magic Man in coming months, once it releases its own new album.

Before the show on Friday night, Litterski will take the stage at CD102.5, her former place of employment, for a performance at the Big Room Bar with Magic Man, which will be broadcasted on the station.

Having officially left CD102.5, she said it was bittersweet leaving the station with which she had been involved for nearly six years. Litterski was sales and marketing coordinator, and she said her co-workers are supportive of her new endeavor.

“It was nice because a lot of them knew while I was auditioning for Magic Man, they all knew about it and were very excited,” Litterski said. “It was definitely a happy ending because everyone was pumped.”

When the Hotline Spring tour stops in Columbus, Litterski said she is anxious to show the rest of the band members good places to eat.

She said members of the bands she is touring with spoke highly of Columbus.

“They’re all like, ‘Yeah, Columbus is always one of the best crowds,’” Litterski said. “It’s interesting hearing that from people outside of Columbus. It kind of makes me proud. ”

Litterski added that she could truthfully say that Magic Man has not told every crowd that it is a great crowd.

Magic Man, The Griswolds and Panama Wedding are set to perform on Friday at Newport Music Hall, 1722 N. High St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $24.85 including fees via Ticketmaster.

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