I have been waiting to see Born Gold (formerly Gobble Gobble) again since March when the band took me by surprise. When I arrived in Lawrence I expected a different feeling and was shocked when it happened again. Though I knew what to expect when it came to the live talents of Born Gold on Thursday night it was the local opener that would grab my attention.
Motorboater is a band that I was shocked to find out resided in Kansas City, their sound is as far as you can get from the guitar rock we all take pride in. The electronic beats flowing from Dan Eaton’s Mac Book was as far as you could get from that “good old Midwest feel.” Motorboater find comfort in a HEALTH-like sound and have no problem holding their own among bands of that caliber. As the show moved on and the lights began to flash it was clear that Eaton was not going to be upstaged by the talented Born Gold and was ready to make his own mark on the night.
That he did with a new guitarist and drummer by his side, I’ve always been a fan of the live band aspect to electronic shows. It seems to put the crowd at ease when they are getting blasted with music that is ahead of it’s time. While most have a hard time with incorporating the the new sounds into their routine Motorboater pulled it off flawlessly. I could easily see the band being the next hip thing if Eaton was performing in a different market. For now Motorboater is a Kansas City gem and they left me feeling a little embarrassed that I had not known of their talents until now. I would highly suggest you pick up the album Sport here and join me at the next performance.
After the enthralling performance by Motorboater I was ready for Born Gold to the point where I felt a bit like a fan boy. I looked around the room while the band was setting up their elaborate stage show only to see a group of people that were a little under prepared for what they were about to see. While I know that some people in the crowd had heard of the band before I could still see a bit of shock on their face as the band dragged stilts closer to the stage. Those of us that had experienced the show before were sharing a look of excitement as memories of their performance began to flow back into our mind. My only worry was that they wouldn’t be able to live up to my now monumental expectations.
Soon the bar would be full of fog and the sound of “Lawn Knives” would fill the speakers and now that I knew all the words I couldn’t help but sing along. As the show pushed on and Born Gold started to smash through the preconceptions of the virgin crowd I noticed a bit more movement. It takes a bit to understand what it is Born Gold is trying to do. Breaking though our comfort zone and getting right in your face forces a reaction. It breaks down a crowd that would usually stand arms crossed and bobbing their head to the beat. It turns what would normally be a common night at the Jackpot into something else. Something special that most will remember until their next encounter with the band.
Just placing Born Gold in a box with their lights, inflatable ghost, and shovels would be a major discredit to the band. While those things are elements to what make the show something I have never seen before it’s not all the band offers. The music of Born Gold is something that pushes the boundaries of what we think of as Alternative. Ditching guitars for laptops is starting to become a common thing, but the bands that still retain their alternative roots are something special. Born Gold is one of those special bands that know just the right mix to push the genre forward. Taking all preconceived notions and flipping them on their head. The song “Decimate Everything” from their new album BodySongs is a perfect example of this, while steeped heavily in electronic roots it has structure that feels more like a rock song at it’s core. While the live show is something that demands to be witnessed without the music it would just seem false and hollow. I would highly suggest you give Born Gold a chance and seek the band out live, but if nothing else make sure you pick up Bodysongs on September 20th and thank me later.
By Ryan Davis
photos by Angela Davis