Ghostland Observatory took The Paradise crowd on a laser-fueled journey into outer space with Aaron Behrens at the helm, dancing his way through the cosmos.

11/7/18 – Paradise Rock Club

In the dark halls of The Paradise Rock Club, fans stood around comparing how many times they’d seen the band, hastily cracking glow sticks. Basking in the glow stick haze, Freddie Mercury-incarnate and Ghostland Observatory frontman Aaron Behrens power-walked out to the stage wearing a white blazer illuminated purple in the black-lights. His long, wet hair snaked like ivy over his jet-black shades down to an ominous grin. A metallic silver cape then emerged as keyboardist and synth-wizard Thomas Ross Turner manned his station on the glowing spaceship of a set just in time for liftoff.

Coming off of a hiatus of “bathing and relaxing in the cosmos,” Austin music legends Ghostland Observatory, briefly landed the mothership in Boston for a laser-infused performance of their unique brand of electro-dance soul rock to promote their new album, “See You Later Simulator” before hitting their festival stride at SXSW and Austin City Limits.   

When you see a Ghostland show for the first time, it becomes immediately clear that you’re there to see Aaron Behrens. He’s a generationally misplaced rockstar who delivered his unapologetic brand of on-stage sexuality through tight black jeans, incendiary dance breakdowns, buckets of sweat, and 80s hair-band screams. The magnetic field around him was palpable as he would pause and walk around twitching his fingers like a mad scientist in his laboratory trying to figure out what to experiment with next.

Feeding the audience lasers for dinner, Ghostland’s penchant for visual effects was in full effect that night. Cascading brightly colored moonbeams shot out over the crowd in a way that looked like the door of extra terrestrial spaceship opening up and we were all bearing witness to an alien encounter. Taking it a step further, they had synced their high-end 3D laser display with perfectly timed dance moves, points and poses along with musical changes and crescendos, playing the lasers like instruments.

Ghostland’s sound is easy to love but hard to categorize. It combines atmospheric synth and indie pop beats with funky electric guitar and high pitched rock shrieks. The band was at their best when they played their biggest hit, “Sad Sad City.”  With hard hitting, syncopated base, soaring, dance-y synth organs and a chorus that literally screams out to the audience, “well I… NEED YOU!”  Dropping the music in the middle of the song for a good 3 minutes, Behrens delivered a call and response with the audience to those lyrics with a longing intensity. He was lost in the moment, yelling with everything he had, looking to make a desperate connection in the sad, sad city.

Behrens rocked out with every fiber of his being that night like he had the whole house to himself. At one point in the show, he shouted the lyrics, “I’m feeling overheated cuz my life keeps comin!” It was clear to the audience, though, that this guy does not overheat.

 

 

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