Ghostland Observatory Dec 30, 2007 House of Blues
Better Than: Watching oily robots make sweet love under a banana tree.
Hippies love Ghostland! Hipsters love Ghosltand! Geeks and freaks and the wannabe sheik all love Ghostland!
And I love Ghostland Observatory, too. Like…crazy-love.
Last night the Austin-based electro-soul duo played its gyrating anthems to a soul-ed out crowd at House of Blues. And I’m not sure if it was that fact that I chose to remain dead-sober last night or the annoyance of waiting 30 minutes to enter the building and another ridiculous amount of minutes to get a glass of water from the bar, but everyone inching around the watertight Chamber Room seemed completely wasted. The massive representation of SMU-bags (pronounced smew-bags) and douchebags may have had something to do with the beer-reeking, awkwardly dancing crowd. Every little crevasse I attempted to comfortably slither into (without success) felt like another pocket of wasters flailing around on a pungent pool of spilled Jack Daniels. Before the show even started, a young blonde was hurried away on a stretcher from neglectfully allowing the party meter to explode through the heels of her leopard print pump. And I actually saw a dude dancing away while his severely intoxicated girlfriend clung to him like a hairy fanny pack. It was sort of lame and a lot of annoying.
The fellows on stage, however, were vibrant and seemingly sober –- if you consider flapping around like a cod in frying pan something a sober person would do. (And, as always, looking very sexy doing so.) Frontman Aaron Behrens belted his eerie-underbellied lyrics to the fanatic coup and wiggled his little girl-jean butt across every inch of the stage. The beat-maestro, in his usual phantom cape, flawlessly finger-tapped his synthesizer creating loud, boisterous dance grooves that slipped and slided off the quivering HoB walls. All this magic -- plus lasers -- cool.
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Ghostland played a an hour and 30-minute set (with a mildly disappointing three song encore) that included chant along favorites “Sad, Sad City” and “Rich Man” along with a few peeks from its forthcoming album set to be released in early 2008. Thomas and Aaron seemingly gave us every last drop of their musical mojo electrifying the pools of spilled whiskey into magical ponds of dancing frenzy. And hipsters and frat boys alike, got their toes wet. Even me, the sober annoyed girl. But, I as I mentioned before, I love Ghostland Observatory. Like crazy-love. So, despite the intoxicated cheese weenies and the apparently over-sold space and the 30-minute bar lines -- 30-minute anything lines –- I had a pretty hella-rockin’ good time. -- Krissi Reeves
Critic's Notebook Personal Bias: Ghostland Observatory’s “Midnight Voyage” (which the band played) is my internal theme song –- you know the one that plays in your head when you enter a party.
Random Detail: There was a middle-aged, overweight Dad type drinking Bud Light behind me yelling, “I can’t believe this! Do you see this? These guys rooooock!” He was really feeling it.
By the Way: Ghostland is consistently selling out mid-size venues all over the country, and the fantastic thing is the group has done it all on its own. The band's on its own label and do very little advertising (weak Web site, practically no merch.) Ghostland just rocks so much that word of mouth has thrust the band into superstar status, including recently playing on Conan.