With so many bands popping up across the country — and the world — all vying for the spotlight, it can be difficult to bring something new to the table. For the past few years, Milwaukee-based band GGOOLLDD have been doing exactly that. They are making music to have fun, and they’re doing it in ways no one else is. Their live shows are a breed of their own, billowing with infectious energy. On Friday, the eclectic group returned to Madison for a set at The Sett.
Fellow Milwaukee natives Newvices kicked off the night at exactly the scheduled start time of 9 p.m. Pulling from indie-pop soundscapes, their half-hour set was a warm introduction to the night filled with danceable, bass-heavy music.
As Newvices filed off the stage, the crowd sauntered back to the chairs and tables in The Sett as their gaze shifted to the tv sets airing the Opening Ceremony for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Though as soon as the next act, Skyline Sounds, walked on stage to put the finalize their soundcheck, the tables completely emptied again.
Skyline Sounds, a Madison-based indie rock group, brought an incredible amount of energy to the stage. As their set progressed, the crowd lit up with a heightened sense of pep in their step. With their twist on guitar-and-synth-based music, Skyline Sounds found the key to making music that is entirely irresistible.
The headliners took the stage shortly after the finale of Skyline Sounds’ set. GGOOLLDD, as always, drew the masses in when they took the stage. Those who were sitting, now stood, packed together near the stage. The show got underway as they treated the crowd to a flurry of songs from their three EPs. Spunky as always, there was never a lull in the entertainment.
Frontwoman Margaret Butler led the show with her endless stream of energy. When she wasn’t doing cartwheels on stage during instrumental breakdowns in songs, she was cracking elementary-school-level jokes. If it weren’t for her exuberance, the jokes would have fallen flat, but even the cheesiest of them drew muffled laughs from the crowd. “Why don’t animals play poker in the jungle?” Margaret asked. “Because there’s too many cheetahs!” she exclaimed.
Compared to many shows at The Sett, the amount of dancing was huge. Compared to a typical GGOOLLDD show, it was not. Heads nodded up and down. Bodies swayed. Feet tapped. Yet, there weren’t massive jumping sprees indicative of mass energy in the crowd. While they weren’t as physically expressive of their enjoyment as at other shows, the fans had smiles stretching from cheek to cheek as the show ended. Formed out of the desire to throw a big party for their friends, GGOOLLDD continues to keep that tradition of partying alive at every show they put on, regardless of how big the set.