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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Ghostland Observatory at The Fonda

CONCERT REVIEW: Ghostland Observatory
The Music Box at the Fonda

Hollywood, CA

November 30, 2007

Seven minutes into Ghostland Observatory’s performance at The Music Box, they had already played their two most energetic and well-known songs. I braced myself for the inevitable letdown, but it never happened.

Singer Aaron Behrens captivated the crowd during the openers, "Vibrate" and "Sad Sad City," with his trademark, hard-to-believe dance moves, featuring plenty of strutting, snake dancing, and rock star posing, and the energy never dipped throughout the 90-minute performance.

When I saw Ghostland this summer at Lollapalooza, I got a little bored during the songs where Behrens played electric guitar – I remember thinking, Put the guitar down and start dancing again! But tonight, that was not the case. Some of the guitar songs were major highlights, including “Rich Man,” the second of three encores, and “Midnight Voyage,” the song that seemed to never end, as Behrens seemingly played the same riff over and over for 8+ minutes while cape-wearing drummer/electronic wizard Thomas Turner provided the electronic blips and bleeps.

Ghostland played four brand new songs, and while they all had decent enough hooks, none had that “wow” factor that several of the songs from Paparazzi Lightning possess. That does concern me a little – hopefully their next record isn’t going to signify a decline in quality or creativity.

The final high point of the evening was the first encore, “Silver City,” a brilliant older song which might be the band’s best. Its plodding synths create a powerful mood, making it one of Ghostland’s best live songs. Behrens’ mesmerizing girl-dancing rightfully gets a lot of attention, but this band needs to have substance beyond that in order to be successful, and tonight they showed they have it.

Check out the band at http://www.myspace.com/ghostlandobservatory


Tyler said...

does anyone know the name of the DJ who was doing the house music before the show? he played some cool stuff i've never heard before

Scott said...

Travis Keller, I think.