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Concert Wed Sep 23 2009

Review: Fool's Gold @ Bottom Lounge

FG_trees_by_Heather_Goldberg

Photo by Heather Goldberg

This past Sunday was a dreary and rainy night in Chicago, but in my mind I was laying in the sun somewhere in a tropical climate far away. No, I wasn't hallucinating nor had I finally lost my mind. I was being swept away by the sweet sounds of Fool's Gold.

Fool's Gold is an LA collective that infuse pop music with African and Tropicalia elements, creating a refreshing and infectious beat that they brought to Chicago for the World Music Festival last weekend. Lead singer Luke Top alternates verses between Hebrew and English, and the band members range from an Argentinean pop star to a visual artist to members from other bands such as Foreign Born, The Fall, and We Are Scientists.

Live, the 11 members crowding the stage at the Bottom Lounge look like a mash-up of World meets West Coast. The band is a motley crew of guys, some look like they would be right at home in Silver Lake in their plaid shirts and skinny jeans, while thrown in the mix is a drummer wearing a dashiki and another member in cargo shorts and an Aztec style wool vest. They look like a bunch of musicians that don't exactly fit together, but have found a common bond through the music they love and respect, and have joined forces to create this co-op of sound.

They kicked off their set with "Surprise Hotel," a track from their forthcoming self-titled debut that comes out next Tuesday the 29th. The majority of the band started bouncing up and down, jumping along as Top's clear and strong vocals resonate throughout the room. Some of the audience started to move to the beat, and you can't deny the fact that Fool's Gold makes music that is meant to make you dance. With so many members, it's impressive how in sync the band is, constantly flipping between instruments and never missing a beat, showcasing the craftsmanship of the band. Simply put, these guys know their shit.

Between songs Top is charming with his banter, reminding everyone of their new album, encouraging the audience to purchase one of the shirts the band handmade, and also letting the crowd know that the band will be returning to Chicago to play at the brand new Schuba's ran venue Lincoln Hall on Friday November 27th. Between the peppering of conversation, the band showcased the upbeat and earnest songs off their new album, playing some of my favorites such as "Yam Lo Moshech," "Ha Dvash," and "Nadine."

As the band wrapped up their set, they exited the stage, percussion instruments still in hand, chanting and dancing. The music was warm and inviting, even familiar at times, even if the sound was far from the tradition rock 'n' roll nostalgia I grew up with and still mainly listen to. It didn't matter if you couldn't understand the lyrics, you knew through the rhythm and the beats what the music meant. And Fool's Gold clearly makes evident the influence of world music on modern pop and rock, creating an accessible sound for fans that aren't familiar with this variety of music. As I exited back into the damp drizzle of the night, the weather didn't change the smile on my face, because I was far away basking in the sun somewhere, thanks to Fool's Gold.

Make sure to pick up Fool's Gold self-titled debut album out on IAMSOUND on September 29th, and check them out when they headline Lincoln Hall on November 27th.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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