Ghostland Observatory @ Warehouse Live
If there had to be one band that could have been with BOT from it’s very beginning, I wouldn’t have another one than the band we featured in our very first review. The band I’m speaking of is Austin’s Ghostland Observatory. We covered them before the days of photo passes and fancy cameras, when the idea of what BOT was to become was little more than a glint in our eyes. They always manage to entice the biggest dance parties at their live performances, and with the help of lazers, lights and sick dance moves from singer Aaron Behrens, they are also a complete visual stimulation just as they are auditory. The other night, before shipping off to New Orleans for Voodoo, we made our way to Warehouse Live for another showing from the funk/punk/crunk duo.
Read about the show, and check out a bunch more pictures after the jump
The last time I had the chance to see Ghostland was not too long ago, when my lady and I took a trip to Baltimore, to the famed Merriweather Post Pavilion for this years incarnation of the Virgin Mobile Free Fest. Surrounded by a ton of great acts including The Black Keys, TV On The Radio, James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem), Patti Smith, Okkervil River, Empire Of The Sun and a ton more, Ghostland shone above most despite performing against the highly lauded Deadmau5 to close the event. We chose Ghostland that night, and are damn glad that we did. Even though it was less than two months ago that we saw them, we were still pretty damn excited headed into this event at one of my favorite Houston venues.
We arrived at the venue just in time to hear the last few tunes by some local DJ that was holding down the decks on stage. After grabbing a quick beer, I made my way to the photo pit to await the start of the set. They came on about 10 minutes late, but that only built the anticipation in the fairly full ballroom of Warehouse Live. Starting their set with “Glitter,” from their latest LP Codename: Rondo, just as they did at Free Fest, the crowd wasted no time hopping up and down to the beat. Behrens moved jauntily from one side of the stage to the other, while producer, instrumentalist and all around wizard Thomas Ross Turner made sure to keep the kids in the audience sweating throughout. Having a bigger window with their own headlining show than they did at a festival, they almost doubled the amount of songs played than a few months prior. Using the extended time, they expanded on songs like “Piano Man,” “Stranger Lover,” “Vibrate,” “Miracles,” and the title track to their new LP, “Codename: Rondo.”
The second half of the set was where they really brought the heat. “Midnight Voyage,” “Move With Your Lover” and “Heavy Heart” all had the crowd singing and dancing fiercely, while set closer “Sad Sad City” made the big room almost deafening. The encore was where I heard the tunes I was looking for, “Silver City” and “Give Me The Beat,” and they were better than ever before. It was a treat to hear “Silver City,” as they skipped it at Free Fest due to time constraints. Closing the entire show off with a seizure inducing “Kick Clap Speaker” was the only way to leave the thousand plus kids for the night, and give them a breather before they returned to WHL the next night to do it all over again.
For a while, the Ghostland Observatory shitty fan trend was somewhat bothersome, but after a few years it has somewhat died off and they are finally getting the respect that they deserve from more than just some frat-tastic douchbaggery. I hope they continue to put out some solid dance music, because if they do, I’ll keep going to see them, writing about them, promoting them, taking pictures of them and just getting the word out about them in general. They are super nice guys that have a great time on stage and enjoy the living hell out of what they are doing – all which shows during each and every performance. Thankfully, they are some Texas boys, so Houston shows will continue to be much more regular than, say, Minnesota shows, but until next time, as they say best, “just give me the beat, that’s all I need!”
Check out some more pictures from the show