If someone told you that there was a rapper on the map that made music equating to, “Montell Jordan’s ‘This Is How We Do It’ on crack”, you’d crank your levels and press play. This is exactly how D.C. native Goldlink self-describes his future bounce sound to the world. Already making strides as a production heavyweight, Goldlink has had collaborations with some major leading names like Kaytranada and Rick Rubin. Goldlink’s newest release At What Cost has already flooded into club speakers and radio waves alike with some super fun features from leading names in dance and hip-hop like Wale, Jazmine Sullivan, and Ciscero. But hey, if you’re someone who doesn’t want to hear the likes of Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” on crack, then yikes, this review isn’t for you—but I hear Pitchfork just tore apart Miley Cyrus’s new record, so enjoy checking out that garbage fire instead!
Goldlink’s visit to Seattle was not without anticipation; sold out and packed full, the Showbox was buzzing last Thursday night as wrists were stamped and drinks were poured all in celebration of the party to come. In typical Showbox style, the venue’s red glowing light poured onto the floor and out the front doors as the masses filed in and faced the decorated stage. Lined on both sides with greenery—trees, shrubs and what seemed like general public-park nature elements, the stage imitated a large-scale loading dock with a backdrop that blended organically behind the plants. The scene felt like a block party—free and unconfined, a hard vibe to pull off in a giant room designed for sweat absorption and general noise confinement. A myriad of characters came to dance: bros, babes, that guy that lived with your brother that had the basement to himself and no one really asked about it, and Sporty Spice circa ’97—all ready to bounce with the best of ‘em when the show began.
The lights came down and the self-defined “trap house jazz” musician Masego jumped on stage opening the show with “Shut Up and Groove” a track off his new EP Pink Polo. The rapper surprised everyone when he whipped out his beloved saxophone and played along to his varied dance tracks throughout the show, often shouting, “I love jazz!”—a little too on the nose for me, but hey, the guy was entertaining as hell. It was only after his set ended when he reappeared to sing on the hook of his and Goldlink’s collab “Late Night” that I realized that the impressive chain hanging around his neck was in fact, a diamond crested saxophone—the man likes what he likes. After a short and wild set, Masego exited the stage and was immediately replaced with the silhouette that everyone in the crowd recognized: the headliner Seattle flocked to see.
Suddenly the room was infectiously flooded with bass and the opening synths of “Fall In Love” crashed into crowd. The floor flexed as 100 patrons bounced to the rhythm and threw arms up in excitement. The rest was a blur. Goldlink threwa show that was both striking and seamless, thrilling and tense, lucid and loose. The headliner made sure to feature all the hits everyone roared for: “Crew”, Herside Story”, “Summatime”, and “Meditation” were all fan favorites from the new record that were a blast to experience live. Blessing the long-time fans with some golden oldies, Goldlink mixed in both “Spectrum” and “Palm Trees” off of is debut album And After That, We Didn’t Talk from 2015. The entire performance was pure, unadulterated, fun. Goldlink gave us all a break from reality, a few hours to forget our troubles, distract from our stresses, and simply, get rowdy.
By Judith Feenstra (aka JMONEY)