I can safely say that L.A.-based Fool’s Gold played an inventive, joyous set last week at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Fool’s Gold is awful. Not really. Singer Luke Top dared me to say that, and I’m a four-year-old, so I followed suit. But despite Top’s playground humor, I can safely say that L.A.-based Fool’s Gold played an inventive, joyous set last week at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
The sold-out show was part of a month long North American tour with bygone band Local Natives and headliners Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. It was a So-Cal kind of night in Brooklyn, as all three bands hailed from the golden state. Local Natives started off the show with an exuberant display of harmonies and arrangements, both boisterous and beautiful, like an indie-fied Beach Boys. But once Fool’s Gold took the stage, the vibrations in the room shifted. All of a sudden the room turned technicolor, bodies swaying and heads flailing, eyes rolled back, entranced by the music. The Fool’s Gold sound is hard to classify, but I’ll try. Judeo/Afro-Caribbean pop with a hint of soul and naivety? That’s probably subjective. But when Top flooded the room with a four-beat bass wave—starting the set with “Nadine”—the ripples of people started to meld. The crowd relished in the lush sound and responded with frantic dance during tracks like “Poseidon” and “Surprise Hotel,” the single off of the band’s self-titled debut.
Fool’s Gold was released in September, but the band has been together for over five years, playing to loud L.A. crowds and even barbecue bystanders (they frequently played house parties and backyard gatherings). Although they claim 11 members, only seven hit the road. Founders Top and guitarist Lewis Pesacov (also a founding member of Foreign Born) knew each other growing up in L.A. and started writing together music soon after graduating from San Francisco State University. The product is a burst of California and nether-cultures.
The language barrier seemed like it would be an obstacle for audiences, as Top blends Hebrew and English in his lyrics. Instead, the crowd chanted along with intermixed wails of Hebrew and gibberish, caught between the rhythm. And even though they had no idea what they were singing along to, thanks to Pesacov’s creative riffing and the band’s percussive drive and sax-infused sensuality, nothing got lost in translation.
The final song saw members of Local Natives jump on stage to help Fool’s Gold out with the “ohs” and “ahs” of “The World is All There Is.” One by one they scurried off stage in a conga line, sounds of maracas and bongos teetering in the background. The Brooklyn beach party was over.
For a full album of pictures from the show, head over to Metromix.com.