On Friday August 22, Gold Complex played to a nearly packed crowd at Lee’s Palace, following openers Gingerale & the Monowhales and Juice. It was amazing how after Juice, another jazzy band, Lee’s Palace transformed from just another local band night to a hopping, busy affair once Gold Complex hit the stage. Over the summer Gold Complex has hit the Toronto music scene with two singles, “Tread On Me” and “Not Another Love Song”, accompanied with two videos. Their sound is influenced by the likes of Motown or Stevie Wonder, with a soul, jazz, pop style, which is designed to be enjoyed live, as how lead singer Will Bowes wants Gold Complex to be experienced.
Their set had a good mixture of slower, down tempo songs and more energetic ones to get people dancing. The twists and turns were abundant, from crooning “why do you come around just to tread on me?” to “I just want to feel your backbone” to “we don’t need another fucking love song.” I found the finale of “Not Another Love Song” to be humorous, almost like the band was saying “fuck what we just did”. However, the couple that was slow dancing earlier didn’t seem to mind as they went right into bobbing up and down.
What was really impressive was the charismatic performance by lead singer Will Bowes, who is also pursuing an acting career, where that comfort on stage definitely translates during his musical performances. He slithered and slid on stage while executing a stompy dance move, and his earnest efforts paid off as by the end of the set he had the whole crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. It was enjoyable to see that kind of stage presence from a relatively novice band, and is the first thing that comes to mind when looking back on the show.
However, props still have to be given to the band as a whole, where everyone was playing tight. Although a lot of the show seemed like “The Will Bowes Show”, in the end the love was spread to the whole band with a few well timed solos from the sax and keyboards respectively. The sax had a great sound that gave the set an organic feel, especially during the encore cover of “Latch” by Disclosure, which sounded more sultry than I’ve ever heard in a recording. Will made a point when talking to him that Gold Complex is about the whole band and their chemistry on stage, as could be seen when he was running around stage giving each member a supporting touch, which was a nice touch.
Overall, Gold Complex played an impressive set at Lee’s Palace on Friday. They provide a fun atmosphere and have consistently filled up their venues which only adds to the fun. Check out their two singles “Tread on Me” and “Not Another Love Song” and mark October 3 on your calendar, when they are playing next at Sneaky Dee’s.