By Meghan Chomeau, Special to OnMilwaukee   Published Mar 05, 2019 at 1:16 PM

MKE Band Camp is a music series on OnMilwaukee, giving you the quick 411 on upcoming concerts in the 414.

Calling all lovers of up-and-coming bands! Gold Connections is playing Cactus Club on Thursday, March 7. The show starts at 9 p.m. with opening acts Cabin Essence and So Zuppy. 

Price of admission

Tickets are $10 at the door. Click here for details!

Why you can't miss it

Gold Connections is an indie rock band created by Will Marsh, a Bob Dylan fan who honed his musical skills alongside Car Seat Headrest’s frontman, Will Toledo. The band formed when folk rock met lo-fi, as Marsh subbed as rhythm guitarist for an early version of Car Seat Headrest.

During college, Marsh and Toledo traded turns playing in each other’s bands, and their friendly competition proved to be an impressive musical incubator. Marsh’s guitar riffs inspired some of the ones you’ll hear on Car Seat Headrest’s album, "Teens of Denial." In turn, Toledo produced and played on Gold Connections’ 2017 self-titled EP.

The band is sure to make a name for themselves on a tour that culminates with a stop at South By Southwest. The group is on an upward trajectory, coming to Milwaukee fresh off the release of their new EP, "Like a Shadow." On it, you can expect songs that have a little more grit, alternative rock and post-punk than their previous work. Take advantage of seeing Gold Connections at a venue as intimate as Cactus Club while you still can! 

Song starter pack

The Hit: "New Religion"

Originally released on the band's debut EP, it was re-released on "Popular Fiction," revealing a more polished version. Written during Marsh’s college days, the song gives a glimpse into the mix of anxiety and confusion that is inherent with coming of age.

The B-Side Beauty: "Desert Land"

A bittersweet song dubbed the B-side by Marsh himself. Here’s what he had to say on it: "I wrote it in about an hour. The story is that I was simultaneously living a certain lifestyle, dabbling with nihilism, and falling in love, and it all came out on the morning after my 21st birthday. It’s about the cost of experience." 

Can't Wait to See It Live: "Icarus"

A seven-and-a-half minute crowd-pleasing song isn’t common, but this one hits the mark. The lyrics have mass appeal calling out to anyone that has ever felt like "the only one." The repetitive ending is just the right release for all of the song’s pent-up angst, and the lyrics – "Get back, get back, get back to rock and roll" – are a guaranteed sing-along for Thursday night’s show.

Get to know the artist

You've gotten to know the band and its music; now it's time to get to know the man behind the music himself. Here are five quick questions with Will Marsh before Thursday's show.

What was the first instrument you played?


If you could only listen to one song on repeat for the rest of your life what would it be?

"Wild West End" by Dire Straits.

Who is your bucket list concert?

R.E.M., although it may never happen. And maybe it shouldn’t!

What was the last song you listened to?

"As I Went Out One Morning" by Bob Dylan.

Favorite Milwaukee food/beer?

Pabst Blue Ribbon, even though I see from Wikipedia that they’re based in L.A. now.