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Fool’s Gold live!

| December 2, 2009

Lincoln Hall, Chicago
Friday, November 27, 2009


Lincoln Hall was designed to be a sort of Admiral’s Club for bands who’ve earned their way out of Schubas’ cozier confines. Its crisp lines and modernist demeanor underscore this idea, giving even opening bands a chance to feel like they’re on the up. It was nice, however, to see Fool’s Gold give it a good humping.

Don’t confuse it with the furiousness of a puppy on your leg or, as a classmate once said, a liberal spending government money, but a deep-kneed, oil-derrick rotating thrust — and that was just “Ha Dvash.” Yes, Fool’s Gold are a bunch of predominantly West Coast white dudes combining rock and what they know of North African music, but by focusing primarily on rhythm (and not necessarily percussion, though there was plenty of that, too) any arguments debating authenticity became moot. The nine-man ensemble (including members of Foreign Born) evoked the gentle rocking of the sea as singer Luke Top’s Hebrew lyrics resonated like a fisherman’s sunset serenade. “Surprise Hotel” took more flavor from skittering West African guitar lines but managed to sway more than, say, Vampire Weekend ends up pogoing. The bleating brass blasts of “Nadine” landed the Stax band on an ocean-liner vacation, and before it was all over, fans of headliner Edward Sharpe were locked in a rolling groove that made the idea of a late-November Chicago safari not the least bit ridiculous.

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Live Reviews, Weekly

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