While there are countless talented artists in Austin, awe-inspiring, truly memorable live performances are a little harder to find. Golden Dawn Arkestra, however, produces a show that, in terms of size, sound and, well, strangeness, is definitely one of a kind. The collective, composed of about 20 artists, boasts a unique style featuring elements of Afro, psych, surf, disco and jazz.
Music combines with a powerful visual element (costumes and masks are involved), making for a stunning, over-the-top live experience that inspires even the most stoic of audiences to get moving (and, more importantly, look away from their screens). “People are so attached to their phones and their media, so it takes a little more to draw people out. Dancing helps people to be present,” explains band leader and manager Topaz McGarrigle. “Really, I judge the success of a show based on how [few] pictures there are, not on how many.”
There’s also an Austin-appropriate weird factor that differentiates the band from most other acts, and it’s exemplified by each band member’s alternate identity and backstory. “We come from outer space,” says McGarrigle, whose Golden Dawn character is named Zapot Mgawi, “and we all have our own stories of where we came from and our superpowers.”
Interest piqued? Experience Golden Dawn Arkestra live at the release party for their album Stargazer on February 26 and 27th at Mohawk. For a behind the scenes look at the band, check out their art exhibition “Prophets of Synesthesia,” which is currently on display at DEN Property Group on West 3rd Street.