Chances are, you didn't know about Criss Angel until 2005. No one did, really. Not by name anyway. It was the emergence of Criss Angel Mindfreak on A&E that brought the magician widespread fame. The show was super neat, giving off vibes similar to Breaking the Magic but with an aesthetic that made emo kids feel right at home. Of course, Angel's show didn't give away all of his secrets.
The illusions on Criss Angel Mindfreak were as fun to watch as the shirtless, zero-percent-bodyfat-having host. The show keeps you asking the question all magicians want you to ask: "How'd he do that?!" We're still not sure how he could drive around town blindfolded, nor are we sure how he talked Mandy Moore into letting him drive her car for the stunt, but he did. He even confused Ice Cube with one of his mind tricks as an elaborate diversion to steal his credit card. If Criss Angel's magic hadn't been up to par, the world would've missed out on these mind-blowing illusions, but Angel could've always fallen back on his music career. Yeah, that's a thing.
BRANCHING OUT INTO THE MUSIC SCENE
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Criss Angel fell in love with magic the first time his aunt showed him a card trick when he was only seven years old, securing his first paid performance at the age of 12, according to the Las Vegas Sun. Magic was his destiny, but it wasn't the only passion Criss Angel would venture to follow. The magician is a musician as well. Actually, Angel tells MTV that he's been playing music longer than he's been making magic.
Most drummers would love to have the dexterity of a magician but, as far as we know, Angel is the one who does. Angel says he's been playing the drums for over 25 years, so he should be pretty good. But before the drums, back when Angel was still a struggling magician, he released a music video. We're not sure what you'll think of it, but Metal Injection says it's "Poison knockoff" with "100% more magic tricks." It definitely has all the hair and generic sound we're sure most '80s garage bands strived for, so — uh — that's neat.
MINDFREAK, MINDFREAK, MINDFREAK
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Criss Angel's live performances often include music. Granted, he's not singing or playing an instrument while he's busy performing magic tricks and death-defying stunts that'll leave you scratching your head. Angel's shows, however, are often gracefully choreographed to a musical background that bring the performances to life. You can see this prominently in Criss Angel: Believe which he put on with Cirque du Soleil in Vegas, with whom he's worked with for several years. The show is part musical, part magic, and part tribute to the great Harry Houdini.
In the newest iteration of Angel's music career, we have the project titled Criss Angel: Mindfreak. We know, it's the same name as he uses for the TV show and his Mindfreak Live magic performances. It's his brand, after all. With the soundtrack came a music video that's slightly better than the one Angel made in the '80s. This one is weird in more of a dark way than the "I can't face my parents after watching this" feel Angel's first attempt gave off. He'll probably release another in 20 years that gives off a new type of creepy, just to keep us on our toes.
Angel has some strong professional friendships in the music industry that have led to other music-related experiences for Angel. Only a couple of years ago, Angel directed and acted in a music video with his long-time friend Jonathan Davis, frontman of the metal band Korn. The video was made for Angel's newest Mindfreak production in Vegas.
NOW YOU SEE ANGELDUST, NOW YOU DON'T
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Almost everything about Criss Angel has to do with Criss Angel. TV shows, live performances, music albums, they're all named after Angel in some way or another. So it went with Angeldust, which Angel co-founded in 1995. With Angel as the frontman, Angeldust released their first album, Musical Conjurings From the World of Illusion, in 1998, according to MTV. The band would go on to release a handful of other albums throughout the early 2000s, before disappearing back into the blackness of a magician's box.
The band released five albums in total, including the Mindfreak album. The Angeldust Facebook page describes the band's shows as "a combination of The Crow and The Terminator but with Illusions, a live band, Avant-garde characters that roam the landscape, robotic lighting, television monitors and projectors, performance art pieces and more." So, not much different than Criss Angel's other performances. The band's disappearance probably wasn't a magic act, but rather a product of Angel's busy, if not ADHD, career.