Show Review: Temples At Lee’s Palace

Story and Photos By Kalina Nedelcheva

Lee’s Palace was a dreamt up transcendental realm, filled with lush harmonies and echoing cords. Temples has seen definite growth in popularity, and with good reason, from the last time they played in Toronto at the Horseshoe. Their new single “Certainty” shared many of the characteristics of Sun Structures, but carried itself with more poppy vibe, especially when isolating the keyboard. The sudden fuzz drops in their psychedelic repertoire, were most enjoyable. The show began with a guide into a psych-pop journey.

Lionel Williams (also known as Vinyl Williams) transported us to the 60s with a mellow twist. The two keyboardists played in perfect unison, which brought about a mellifluous performance. The set was calm, cool, and collected, a skillful contrast from the riffs and drumming. The audience was attentively listening, and didn’t begin to move around until the very end when a sudden drop occurred in their experimental rhythm. Williams’ began his rather short-lived, but substantive solo and started shaking his guitar and moving it towards the audience in a vertical manner. The skillfully executed end was the way to remember them. 

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Vinyl Williams

Temples followed, opening with “Colours to Life”—a well-known singalong. Energizing the room, the audience began to jump up and down and surrender to the psychedelic rock movement. Bagshaw (lead guitar, vocals) reminiscent of a polished Jim Morrison, leading a band that was a type of Tame Impala-Beatles hybrid. Their stage dynamics were extraterrestrial as the members of the band seemed to have a telepathic connection that directed their movement in the space. Adam Smith (rhythm guitar, keyboards) and Thomas Warmsley (bass) did an excellent job, backing up Bagshaw in the whimsical structure and the scattering scales of the songs. They didn’t fail to excel on their own as both exhibited a rather chromatic instrumental presence. By the time the newly released single came up, “Certainty,” the crowd was already moshing, an atmosphere different from what I imagined. I am not trying to be a buzzkill, but the pushing and shoving was an unappropriate response to the stage presence. It disturbed the others who were trying to peacefully enjoy the warped music. When I hear Temples, I see people with flower crowns vividly dancing, not in forceful physical engagement.

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Temples

Of course, that is an unachievable expectation as Lee’s Palace was packed to the brim. Their last song, “Mesmerize” had a very surreal ending where Bagshaw put his guitar aside and broke down on the pedals, fostering a rather intensive atmospheric soundscape. After they came back on stage for their long-awaited encore, Temples closed with “Shelter Song,” an expected end. Throughout the whole performance, one could imagine the ellucid graphics of their videos, playing behind Bagshaw, Smith, Warmsley and Toms (drums). After disembarking on this mystical journey, the crowd dispersed and engaged, I am sure, in what I would call a hallucinatory reflection of tonight’s happenings.

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