House show has the energy of a packed stadium.
Thursdays. For the most part, they could be considered rather uneventful: patiently waiting for the weekend to grace us with its presence and having to hide the excitement by burying ourselves in homework. However, last Thursday went against all odds and proved to be one of the most amazing evenings of my university career. This is all because of the native Edmontonian electronic music outfit known as Born Gold, joined by his accompanying musicians, who gave an absolutely stellar performance. When I was asked to review their show for The Argosy, I knew next to nothing about this band. The editor quickly showed me a few songs to give me an idea of what to expect, but that was the extent of my knowledge coming into the show. Nonetheless, I was already quite impressed by the accomplishments of the artist. Taking it all in, I promptly made my way to 14 Estabrooks, affectionately known as Patches, later that evening.
Upon entering the house, my feeling of uncertainty was even more pronounced: there were only a few people hanging out in various rooms, the vibe was extremely laidback, and I knew absolutely no one. Set upon finding out what was going on, I approached a small group of people and asked them if Born Gold was still playing that evening. One of the girls cracked a smile and simply said “Of course! That’s them, actually!” Indeed, the band was just enjoying some casual conversation with the crowd, while Aiden, their percussionist, was reviewing shots from an upcoming music video. There was a genuine sense of proximity between the band and their fans that I had never experienced before. Quickly making the rounds and getting acquainted with the members, I started by asking them a few questions.
It was Eric’s, the man behind the more electronic side of things in the band, second time in New Brunswick, but it was Aiden’s first time on this side of Canada. On the other hand, Cecil, the main creative force behind Born Gold, was accustomed to our little town, having played Sappyfest with fellow Canadian artist Grimes two years prior to this show. Not long after, Aiden gave me a peek of what this tour consisted of; indeed, it was extremely expansive. Doing solely house shows, they had already toured across Canada and the United States, driving through it all. Doing house shows is not a very common thing, and Cecil expanded a little more on the matter by saying: “Your morale is very high, because the shows are consistently awesome. But there’s a measure of risk involved, financially speaking, in terms of the variability of your income.”
At last, the moment came: it was time to go downstairs and witness the abilities of Born Gold. The show proved to be much more than a band playing out their discography. It was a sensory experience. Blending electronic music with choreographed dancing, unique lightshows, and unparalleled levels of energy, the band had the crowd mesmerized. Cecil Frena is not only a musician, but a true artist in every sense of the word. His ability to create something so unique and powerful was unlike anything I had ever seen before. After the show, Cecil treated us to an eclectic and energetic DJ set to keep us on our feet until the wee hours of the morning. When the performance came to an end, I had the chance to catch up with him for a few more questions.
When asked about the recent prominence of former collaborators, and good friends, Purity Ring, he simply said: “I can genuinely say that I love each of them and that I adore their art. (…) It’s exciting for me to see the world getting behind something that I think is absolutely the best.”
It is clear to see that Born Gold cares deeply about his art, and will not let anything get in the way of his creative process. When someone is so deeply passionate about something, it shows, and in the case of Born Gold, it was undeniably showing.