Golden Dawn Arkestra • Asheville Music Hall • May 20, 2017

As last Saturday night grew near, I became a bit excited about a band I knew nothing about. I was a fan of Sun Ra many years ago and my interest was sparked by an Arkestra coming to my little city. Thoughts of funk, costumes, and interstellar vibrations filled my head as the day progressed; and as I stood impatiently waiting for this band to take the stage, my curiosity was delightfully satisfied by costumed performers entering the Asheville Music Hall — parade style. Masks, paints, and wigs hid the identities of this band of love and light creating a festival-like blend of creepiness and fun. They played instruments, carried cans of sage, and smudged members of their audience as they made their way around the room. It was at this point that I knew that we were in for a treat. Sounds from the vibraphone, synthesizers, guitars, keys, drums, and percussion instruments along with a horn section filled the room and the audience was held captive. The Golden Dawn Arkestra delivered a funky and jazzy musical journey into the cosmos which was candy for both my eyes and my ears. The night flew by quickly as the avant-garde ensemble of nine mesmerized the crowd with theatrical performances and magically danceable music. There were moments when I was simultaneously reminded of James Brown and Sun Ra, yet  Golden Dawn Arkestra definitely has a sound of its own — and I look forward to making the intergalactic voyage with them again soon.

Review and Photography By Libby Gamble Photography