Friday, May 30, 2008

Ghostland Observatory recap.

I'm not sure anyone much cares to get the concert recap (especially from a band they might not know all that well), but I can't rightly help myself this morning. I am sore and bleary-eyed and, according to the first person I talked to on the horn this morning, sound like I smoked 20 packs 'o Malboros, but I have good reasons. Well, maybe a couple. (Sorry in advance if this sounds like it gushes a bit, but, here's your warning: it may sound exactly like that.)

I like this little Ghostland Observatory band from Austin, TX, since I happened across them somewhere in Blogland a couple years back. I've played them on the radio plenty, too, trying to drum up other listeners ... trying to share the good stuff with those with open ears. I wanted to make fans out of others who didn't know the band previously. Heard about their amazing live shows, too, but I never seemed to be where they were performing. All of that changed last night when they came to Salt Lake City.

No opening band. Just about 90 minutes of doing what is they do. That meant some pretty mean dance moves from frontman Aaron Behrens, plenty of squawking in his microphone and some of the best dance beats and unbridled energy I've seen on a stage in years. We caught him when he fell into the crowd of raised arms and we sang along as best we could to the stuff we knew (there will never be a better opening sing-a-long than "Piano Man", honestly) and bounced when we couldn't understand a single screamed word. I didn't pay much attention to the other guy in the band (Thomas Turner, the one with the cape ... the one on the drums and keys ... the guy singing like a robot in "Stranger Lover"), but he kept things moving at a pretty steady clip. Color me more than impressed. Another friend I ran into before the show started called the guy a mouth breather before things got underway and, well, after less than 10 minutes into it, I found myself agreeing with her.

Issit enough to say I left the place drenched with sweat? It was a dance party that quickly got out of control, one that ended with people diving from the stage and crowding it with their dancing, while a confused bouncer tried unsuccessfully to bring some kind of order to the whole shebang. Aaron (aka the braided, sunglassed superstar) loved it. He couldn't help but smile up there to himself. He just played his guitar and danced and sang ... and did at least a couple of fake endings, saying goodbye, only to launch right into singing and playing again.

Maybe it'll make me sound older than the rest, but I honestly walked out feeling like I'd been given a new lease on life. Seems sorta silly to say that about a musical performance, but I felt like I'd shed about 10 years in an hour-and-a-half. Talk about your best kind of time machines. The music got me to show up, but the experience absolutely moved me. And I suppose that's what the best stuff does, doesn't it?


frog said...

Sooo glad you wrote about it. After you first brought them up I have become a big fan. I heard about the amount of sweat at their concerts and opted out. Still, I'm very glad to hear it was as good as I thought it would be. Cheers

lola88 said...

you are seriously right on the money. i made the trip from chicago to see them.
it was a great wild time.

plainoldsarah said...

great review! makes me wish i were there even though i can't rightly say i KNOW any songs by them. the truth is, i generally trust every one of your recommendations - and this was a persuasive one. you've never led me wrong.

Sherpa said...

Speaking of your recommendations..thanks for the heads up on Bon Iver. I've got tickets now.

eleka nahmen said...

I wish I could have seen them! Thanks to you I absolutely love them, but they haven't played in Boston since I've been here.

(PS, when Shearwater makes their way to Salt Lake, you must catch that show. They played here last week, and it was seriously transcendently amazing.)