Gold Panda: Almost surpassed, almost different

by Rose Blanton

On October 5 a friend and I headed to one of Chicago’s most popular music venues to catch Gold Panda. We were both ready for a trance, ambient sound that would let us start Saturday off slowly. What we got was a rambunctious opener that ransomed the show and a Gold Panda that was obviously trying to evolve his sound.

Slow Magic opened (so did Voices of Black but they were almost too boring to garner any mention) and he nearly stole the show. Some may even argue that indeed he did. The musician had a percussion-centered sound that rumbled low and exploded into a dance frenzy. Not to mention the light-up fox/wolf mask he donned that synched with the music. Because Slow Magic was such an unexpected surprise I feel some patrons felt underwhelmed by Gold Panda, but people who knew his sound were in for a twist. Also, do yourself a favor and listen to Slow Magic. Right now! Do it!

Now back to the main event. Gold Panda has been known to have a much more methodical, pensive sound compared to many of his peers. I think something new might be brewing in him though because the sound he gave us that evening was much more upbeat and joyful. Towards the end I had moved from my usual spot on the balcony to the dance pit below so I could join the ramble rousers.

His set up was different than usual, he had far more equipment and a drum pad was present as well. He played tracks I recognized like “We Work Nights” and “Reprise” off his most recent album, but he stretched the tracks out so that although recognizable, a new sound formed in them. I think Gold Panda is looking to progress his sound and hopefully give some EDM producers a run for their money.