Ghostland Observatory

1:38 am by

There may be no party in a sad, sad city, but that certainly wasn’t the case Friday, November 9 when Aaron Behrens and Thomas Turner of Ghostland Observatory took the stage at Warehouse Live. If the lasers, Turner’s cape, and Behrens’ long braids and glossy shirt didn’t tip you off, the immediate dance party that began with the first note did: this was going to be a funky night.

 

Warehouse Live marquee - Ghostland Observatory 

In a display of cloudy foresight and poor planning, the Breakfast On Tour crew was waiting in line for beer when the duo began their set. We enthusiastically and impatiently danced in place, exchanging periodic looks of anguish. Coffee almost couldn’t take it — as soon as her drinks were in her hands, she darted off through the crowd on a mission for a prime spot.

 

Ghostland Observatory onstage at Warehouse Live 

Not that anyone could blame her. Frontman Behrens is undeniably charismatic. When he addresses the audience, he speaks in the same high-pitched shriek that fills the band’s songs — a vocal marriage of rock star and televangelist. Think Freddie Mercury meets Joel Osteen, only much, much more entrancing than you might expect. (We like to think that he speaks that way offstage too…and that one day we might run into him in a gas station telling the cashier, “I NEED 20 DOLLARS ON PUMP 4!!” If only.) Complementing his voice are his onstage antics: illuminated by a vivid laser show, he struts, shakes, and shimmies, limbs flying as he somehow contorts himself into positions achievable only if you’re a Cirque du Soleil acrobat or a shades-wearing rock star.

 

Aaron Behrens of Ghostland Observatory 

Providing the soundtrack was drummer/synthesizer/producer Turner, clad in a long light blue cape (he changed into a red/black striped one during the encore) and delivering booty-bouncing beats. If this all sounds a little…different, that’s because it is. Perhaps the most accurate description of the duo is one included on their website:

“Ghostland Observatory is not a band, but an agreement between two friends to create something that not only heals their beat-driven hearts, but pleases their rock ‘n roll souls.”

Eggs and I have caught their shows in three different cities (Austin, New Orleans, and Houston) over the past two months and it’s been evident to us that they heal and please not only themselves, but also their audiences. Spend just a few minutes at one of their energy-filled dance-crazy sets, and you’ll quickly see this at work. Or you’ll leave asking, “What the hell was that?!” Somehow, I think that Turner and Behrens wouldn’t mind either reaction, so long as it’s a strong one.

Catch Turner’s infectious keys work and Behrens’ love-it-or-hate-it voice in this clip of ‘Piano Man’:

 

 

Check our the rest of our pictures from this show here!

Cereal’s rating: 8.5 bowls/10. A head-bobbing, hands-in-the-air, ass-shaking good time.

Standout songs: Sad Sad City, Piano Man, Stranger Lover, Silver City

Until next time, carpe ientaculum!

–Cereal

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