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Review: Goldroom at The El Rey Theatre

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I have had the odd privilege to have followed Goldroom’s career from a very early stage. From DJ sets performed for ignorantly belligerent bar crowds to an evolved four-piece band smashed onto local dive stages, Goldroom’s climb to the indie dance throne has been one paved with ups and downs. Coming full circle, this past Saturday was most assuredly a home town highlight as the Goldroom crew performed for a sold out crowd of diehard Los Angelinos at the El Rey Theatre.

Channeling a shoreside vibe unique to Goldroom, a crowd of sun worshipping scenesters filed into the old El Rey theatre this past Saturday. Palpable excitement cut with a local familiarity was felt as smiling faces negotiated their way through a carefree crowd. As beers and drinks (aptly named ‘Sweetness Alive’ for the night) were passed overhead, fans vied for an unimpeded view of their hometown hero.

Serious fan gratitude carried on throughout the entire performance. It was hard to be mad at your crowd neighbour for singing the lyrics to ’Sweetness Alive‘ completely off-tune when the general vibe allowed for such hedonistic appreciation.

Chela, another vocal secret in her own right, joined Goldroom for this special tour partnership to do energetic justice to multiple originals and covers. Near the show’s beginning she crooned the opening lyrics to the recently remixed ‘Don’t Wanna Dance‘ by Danish songstress MO while Josh Legg, Goldroom himself, took to the keyboards to lay on his iconic chord progressions and raise energy levels.

Critical mass was reached after Legg introduced long time collaborator Mereki to join Chela on stage for an impassioned version of crowd favourite, ‘Only You Can Show Me‘. The two vocalists rallied with one another to create a chemistry rarely felt in modern performances. Legg was all smiles as he covertly snapped a crowd photo of his devotees.

After introducing a new track, the night rounded out with heartfelt renditions of ‘Fifteen‘, ‘Embrace‘ and a fittingly chosen concluding track ‘Angeles‘ to pay tribute to Goldroom’s Los Angeles birthright and the fans who have nurtured his career from the beginning. Hands and phones in the air, bright eyes and – dare I use the pun – ‘embraces’ all around, it felt like a surreal scene ripped from the conclusion of a critically-acclaimed movie. There was no fist pumping, there was no grinding, it was just a collective groove set to feel-good melodies.

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