Ghostland Observatory

I was first introduced to Ghostland Observatory about a year ago, when I had just moved to Los Angeles. They were opening for the Flaming Lips at the Greek. I’d gone to the concert alone and wasn’t really interested in any of the opening acts. As I was finishing a joint on the lawn, a pretty crowd in rushed to catch the last band before the Lips. Among them was one of five people in LA who knew my name: a chick I had met at a small party the night before. She was with a group of friends, they all were crazed, and I loved it. They were shocked that I had no intention of watching Ghostland – just as I was appalled to see them leaving before the Lips. They told me this show would change my life and that it was important to “see it to believe it…”

Just like real ghosts, if you think about it!

We went on quickly swapping stories about shows we’d seen recently, and ultimately how they’d affected us in some way. Then just like out of a movie (I bet you can guess which one), they pulled out an extra ticket and two minutes later, I was with them in the pit. They ended up being right about Ghostland. This duo from Austin, TX (Aaron Behren and Thomas Turner) sure knows how to throw a party. Their performance was intricate and extravagant. They’re equipped with a large laser light show which adds to the rave-ish sensorial vibe of their wacky-soulful-can’t help but dance-funk sound. Turner churns out the beats that were made for dancing and Behren literally seduces the crowd so you won’t go home unsatisfied. Even if you do leave alone…


I convinced my new buddies to stay for the Flaming Lips and to take me with them to the Ghostland Observatory show the next day in Pomona. Since that day, I haven’t missed one of their shows in the area and I’ve watched the friends I made that night follow them around the country. Unfortunately I’ve discovered it’s not always easy recounting your favorite concert experiences. It’s too important that you enjoy concerts rather than remember them. Some shows are different though. It’s nice that Behren and Turner are so invested in having a good time. At Sunset Junction earlier this year, their show was cut short when the neighborhood complained that the outdoor concert was “too loud.” So they turned the speakers off. They weren’t finished yet,  so they kept on performing as if they were set to full blast. They didn’t want to leave and neither did the crowd comprised of mostly new fans. That’s what is nice about two hard working boys from Austin, they want you to get what you paid for.

Ghostland Observatory has a new album out today and along with a slew of hometown events coming up they’ll be in LA on Nov. 4 at the Nokia Theatre, so do yourself a favor, take someone’s advice like I did and check out this rad band!


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