Avada Kedavra! Harry and the Potters Kill at the ’Sco

Matthew Sprung, Staff Writer

Wearing ordinary clothes and running through an ordinary sound check, brothers Joe and Paul DeGeorge heightened the anticipation for their appearance at the ’Sco this past week. But fans did not come to see the band Harry and the Potters for the ordinary — they came for the extraordinary.

Vanishing offstage, the two returned as their Harry Potter alter egos, dressed in sweaters, oval glasses and maroon ties. Exceeding Clark Kent’s transformation from work clothes into Superman suit, Joe and Paul reentered as rock superheroes, with music and literature as their super powers.

Harry and the Potters are known for founding the musical genre “wizard rock.” Their songs, based on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, typically focus on overcoming the evil that is Lord Voldemort. In the books, Harry overcomes Voldemort with the power of love and friendship; in the band, the De Georges use the powerful magic of music to spread their moral lessons.

One of these lessons comes from the brothers’ inspiring do-it-yourself approach. While they may not be the most talented musicians, Harry and the Potters successfully fuse their passion and energy with their wailings, upbeat synthesizers and guitars.

One particularly popular song they played at the ’Sco questions how the popular wand shop Ollivanders is able to stay in business while selling wands so cheaply; it ends by concluding the operation must be government-subsidized. Many of the band’s songs last for no more than a minute, and must contain the same humorous lyrics that comment on infeasibilities found in the books.

The second half of the set shifted the mood from indie to punk rock. The pace of the music intensified, as did the energy in the room. Paul acted more as the lead man, jumping off the stage on multiple occasions, while Joe flung his hair around and strummed his guitar with exaggerated winding arms.

Audience participation was abundant and created a sense that we were to leaving reality and entering the musically enabled wizarding world. Calls and responses of nonsensical words — that is, spells — broke out and further submerged Oberlin students into the band’s fantasy.

In one intimate moment, however, Paul addressed the crowd not as his alter ego, but as himself. “I believe in this magic — the power of rock and roll,” he said with utmost honesty. The crowd cheered in agreement.

Through their love of literature and music, the brothers transformed themselves not only into fictional boy wizards, but also into real rock stars. The louder the music and the crowd became, the more real the magic felt.