Robert DeLong has achieved the impossible in the last few years, he’s combined a one-man show of heavy synths, drums and EDM in a way that is still considered a live creative show. His setup includes keys in the middle and two drum sets on each side of the stage. At first you think there will be more people joining him on stage to share the instruments but you find out that it’s just him for the entirety of the show moving back and forth. He is very gifted at keeping his audience intrigued and redirecting their attention constantly towards him.
This was a hometown show for him. Even though he’s lived in LA for the past few years, DeLong grew up in Bothell just outside Seattle. His father was a drummer, which influenced him in playing in bands and starting off as a drummer himself. While studying drums in school, he started drawing elements from various musical sources, and created his own unique sound in the process.
As I walked into the Showbox Market, I noticed a couple of girls painting on people’s faces and arms as part of the show. It was kind of cool to see all the fans connect on that level with him, in a way you were being initiated into a following for the night. DeLong himself always has his face painted, promoting the image of his brand.
He started off with “Religious Views,” “Jealousy” and “In the Cards” off his sophomore album with the same title, which was released in September. He looked into the audience and told us he’d been to so many shows at the Market and that he couldn’t believe he was actually playing there. “I saw Built to Spill here and it was the loudest show I’ve ever seen,” he said, “I can’t believe you guys sold the show out, thank you so much.”
DeLong went on to perform “Basically, I”, “Don’t Wait Up”, and “Pass Out”, which got the crowd dancing along more and more each time. He then called his opener Coleman Hell and his sisters out to play drums and tambourine together for “Happy”, as they danced on stage having a good time. They all seemed to be having the time of their lives together as they jumped around dancing.
He then went into “Long Way Down” and ended with “Global Concepts”, which had everyone in the venue creating a dance party and search for answers as he sang “Did I leave my life to chance, or did I make you fucking dance?”
He came back for the encore and chose to play an acoustic song for the first time on this tour for us. He shared that he wrote “Isabel Street”, while on tour for his first album in South Africa and it was inspired by being out on the road for a while. He closed out his show with “Acid Rain” and made us all want to touch her black hair with him. If you’re going to his show get ready for face painting and having the time of your life, the same way he does.