The Temples made their 9:30 Club debut on October 28th, and I cannot be thankful enough for having had the opportunity to attend. The opening band was The Spires, an up and coming New York City group that has yet to be signed and most certainly cannot be found on iTunes. Nonetheless, the Spires blew me away and seemed to be a perfectly matched opening act for the Temples, playing a somewhat dark, echoey rock with occasional hints of British pop that had the audience captivated. Keep your eye on this band and check out one of their most recent tracks, Sleepy Eyes on soundcloud.
The show was far from sold out, and perhaps could have been held at a smaller venue but it worked in my favor as I easily found a spot in the first row. I have been an enthusiast about the Temples upon hearing their first and only album, Sun Structures for the first time, and had the sense that the rest of the audience was equally excited as I was to see them at such an early point in their promising career and before they returned to touring Europe. When they took the stage and began playing Sun Structures without a word of introduction, you could sense just how perfectly they embody the 60’s psychedelic rock feel. Lead singer James Bagshaw, with his fringed jacket, permed, shaggy head of hair, and skinny, angular frame, takes their theme to the next level with his look and attitude. He performs with a distant, trippy aura about him, as if he is more in touch with his music than with the stage he stands on. The band deserves a lot of credit for the accuracy with which they were able to reproduce the album’s complex, distinctively mysterious sound. The echoing guitars and upbeat drums filled the small club and made you feel surrounded by the sensational waves of their music.
The highlight of my night was about halfway through the show when Bagshaw, as he spoke briefly between two songs, pointed down at me front and center just a few yards away from him and said “I see someone in the front row who seems to know the words better than I do, which is great to see!”. Of course I had been singing all the songs at the top of my lungs the entire time– and apparently he noticed!! I will always remember that moment. They came out for the encore with The Guesser (an epic, edgy piece) and finished with a 10-minute rendition of Mesmerize in which Bagshaw experimented with the sound effects and his band-members jammed out for a good 6 minutes after the song usually ends.
Overall, the Temples and their fresh, experimental vibe exceeded my already very high expectations for them. Check out the link to their album’s first track, “Shelter Song”.