Temples has yet to set foot on stage, and Music Hall of Williamsburg already has the mellowed energy set up. It’s a quiet Monday night, and the audience is more than happy to stretch the weekend out a little further. This is Temples’ second tour of the U.S. with their 2014 debut record, Sun Structures.
Part of the album’s genius is its immediate ability to make you forget which decade you’re in. For all of its glossy production, the outcome doesn’t feel far from laying on the floor in front of a record player with two lungs full of Nag Champa. It’s disorienting in the best way.
The band opens the show with Sun Structures, one of the longest tracks on the album at about 6 minutes. It’s sprawling and dreamy, like the music is stretching out across the crowd. Singer James Bagshaw’s face is hidden in his hair, and he’s mostly obscured in the swirling lights of the backlit stage, a silhouette with a guitar.
The audience is completely blissed-out. The couples in the crowd are in a cuddling trance, girls are dancing slowly, eyes closed with their arms above their head, swaying back and forth gently. All those people who believe a show isn’t good if the audience isn’t freaking out have never been to a Temples gig.
Beyond the music, it’s worth noting that the band looks absolutely fantastic. Bagshaw’s resemblance to Marc Bolan of T. Rex has been noted in publications like NME and The Guardian, an observation that is sure to increase in frequency as the band continues to gain popularity. Bagshaw is wearing a suede shirt with fringe, while bassist Thomas Walmsley takes the crowd back to a nostalgic time when Sweet was on their cassette tapes.
They close the show with Mesmerise, a beautiful choice for the remaining minutes of the gig. Partway through the song, a silver spaceman playing tambourine dances onto the stage, and continues dancing around the band until the song ends. The audience is broken from their trance to watch this strangely well-choreographed routine.
Then, it’s over. Virginia Plain by Roxy Music blasts from the PA system as the room clears. After such a colorful performance, the outside world feels a little grayer.
A Question Isn’t Answered
The Golden Throne
Colours To Life
Keep In The Dark