Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ghostland Observatory

I had never heard of Ghostland Observatory before seeing them booked at the House of Blues, but the more I did my research, the more intrigued I became. This electro-rock duo has been around since 2005, already with four records under their belts. I knew a couple people that had seen Ghostland Observatory at Vegoose 2007, when I asked their opinions both were at a loss for words, but said it was "interesting to say the least." I replied, "I really hope they make a laser canopy above the floor, because the HoB would be perfect for that."
Ghostland Observatory darkened the house lights to a moderately sized audience, right at 9 o'clock. Fog emerged out over the stage, as three lasers began fanning out from the front of the stage over and above the whole floor. For a few minutes, the lights and buzz of the synthesizer held us all perfectly still, captivated by the beautiful colors and designs that beamed all around.
While we were hypnotized, Aaron (vocals, guitar) and Thomas (drums, synthesizer) came out, brought the beat up, and immediately got the audience dancing. Ghostland Observatory have their own perfect groove, neither fast nor crunchy, it is bass and dance heavy, with funky and disco overtones emphasized mostly by the Aaron's shrill voice. While Aaron would be singing, dancing, shaking, and moving all over the stage, Thomas was wearing a shiny white and blue cape which he would sometimes hide under when getting into heavy synth sessions. From all that I could see, hear, and feel, this duo was meant create music together.
Ghostland Observatory never let up, running from one song into the next for their full two hour set, including an encore. It was a well rounded setlist, including a several new songs: Midnight Voyage, Silver City, Heavy Heart, Vibrate, Move With Your Lover, Codename: Rondo, New Song, Stranger Lover, Piano Man, New Song, Ghetto Magnet, Sad Sad City. (in no particular order) The audience was a united sea of dancing bodies that never stopped, everyone was smiling and clearly having a great experience.
The blend of the bright laser lights, heavy synth beats, keyboard melodies, and Aaron's vocals were so unique and entrancing, many of us left exhausted and speechless. Ghostland Observatory totally blew me away, not only meeting my level of excitement, but also being more than just a show but an experience. It is also nice to take notice of the growing numbers of electro influenced artists emerging into the mainstream. To be amazed by Beats Antique and Ghostland Observatory on back to back nights really says something about Las Vegas' growing dance scene; something I haven't seen in a decade. Ghostland Observatory has got it, they are new and exciting, a must see!

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