by The Spin
Very powerful lasers. Photo by Steve Cross.
For more photos, check out the slideshow.
We showed up at Cannery Row remarkably early (at least for The Spin) Friday night--the Ghostland Observatory show had been re-scheduled for an hour earlier than previously advertised. We were pleasantly surprised that, despite the show being completely sold out, there was no line. Immediately noticeable inside were signs that warned explicitly: "No Glow Sticks, No Smoking." Well, after returning our glow sticks to the car, we couldn't help but wonder if this rule was in part a reaction to the Girl Talk debacle several weeks ago. However, there was very little repeat business from that show at all. In fact, this was one peculiar crowd indeed: Contrary to what we expected for a bill featuring two indie electro bands, there was nary a hipster to be found.
Instead, we got a full house of young professionals who, if we had to
stereotype, we could have just as easily assumed were there to see John
Mayer. Opening the evening was local glitchy clubcore duo Jensen
Sportag. Having performed mostly DJ-style sets as of late, the 'Tag put
on a performance much more like a rock show than any we've seen from
them in the past. Rather than tracks that flowed seamlessly into one
another, these had starts and endings, with a little banter in between
from Austin Wilkinson, who'd staked his claim as a proper frontman in
the evening, with sidekick Benji Craig playing the mysterious
mastermind twiddling knobs and tinkling keys in the background.
By the time Jensen Sportag's set was done, the audience had nearly
doubled in size. Lines at the bar and in the bathroom became seemingly
infinite, and upon returning from our trek to each, we found a spot
near the stage was hardly going to be worth the struggle. We found a
cozy view from the back of the room just as Ghostland Observatory came
out swinging in a blaze of swirling blue and green lasers which
elicited an enthusiastically unbridled ovation from the room.
duo proceeded in what they do best--laying down aggressively funky
electro beats and growling synthy bass grooves accompanied by a
spine-tingling falsetto and some seriously deadly dance moves. Between
the lasers and fog machines, our visibility was limited to a couple
glowing silhouettes, so most of the stage show from our perspective was
the laser beams in and of themselves. But that didn't stop us from
enjoying an even-handed serving from each of the band's last three