Rock NYC: Goldenboy Live Review

Another review of Goldenboy’s record release at Hotel Cafe. This one by Alyson Camus for Rock NYC.

Shon Sullivan said in an interview he has been very lucky with his career since he has always been able to make the music he has wanted to make. I suppose that’s every musician’s wish, but can every performer say the same?
Led by Sullivan, Goldenboy has been touring the west coast for the past weeks to promote their new album ‘Sleepwalker’, and they were closing the night at the Hotel Cafe, last Friday night.

The Diamond bar quintet mixed some new songs with old ones, delivering a beautiful set of harmonies brushed by melancholic and soothing melodies built by Sullivan and Nicole Verhamme’s bright guitars, Katy Stone’s sharp bass, Keith Brown’s wobbling keyboard, and softly beaten by Jon Crawford’s drumming.

They started by a few tunes from their previous albums, like ‘Summer of the evening’ with its sort of bouncing Lou Reed delivery, before the upbeat and glittering ‘Holiday’ and the beaming guitars of ‘I like you because’ from the new album.

‘Different moon’, which is probably the most epic song among the new tracks, never went overboard, despite its in-a-hurry-whipping rhythm, even during the guitar battle at the end of the song.

They also played this moody song, ‘Ice Breaker blues’, which started like a small hurricane with its incessant female moaning vocals, then calmed down, forgetting the tempest in a melancholic keyboard, before re-surging again. They closed the set with the lush and Calexico-esque ‘Body and soul’, replacing the trumpet solo that breaks in the middle of the song on the album version by a consoling keyboard.

And they are about to head to Texas next month, where they will be part of the famous SXSW in Austin. In the past, Shon Sullivan has toured the world with many bands (Eels, Bright Eyes, Elliott Smith, Stephen Malkmus, Grandaddy, Neil Finn, The Rentals), and now that he is doing his own thing, he is not ready to stop. – Alyson Camus

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