The best thing about Goldroom’s performance at SOhO on Thursday was the fact that it got people dancing to music created (at least in part) with live instruments. In a post-“Get Lucky” world, masses of music fans have been transformed into seekers of all things groovy, fussing not about medium or style; it’s a refreshing turn from the world of bleeding dubstep breakdowns.
Opening group Story of the Running Wolf did their part in getting the room moving, and the night’s in-between-sets deejay was of a higher caliber than those found in any area club on a Friday night. But, since we’re on the subject of groove, it has to be acknowledged that Goldroom’s was a bit lacking.
It doesn’t take a dance music “expert” to acknowledge that the driving force behind most dance music is the bass and beat, which made Goldroom’s decision to neglect both curious. Live guitars, keys, and synth are all neat, and vocals can add loads of charisma, but without dynamic beats or much low end, the music feels gutless — like a cake that’s made entirely of icing.
That said, a noble vocal effort from Meraki kept things interesting, and Goldroom’s esteemed leader Josh Legg aroused several rounds of “woos” by informing the crowd that “this music was written for beautiful people like you,” and when it was “time to get sexy.” It amounted to typical dance-music fare, minus the fact that Legg did so while switching instruments or tuning his guitar, which, at the end of the day, is still pretty cool.