Ghostland Observatory: More Than Just Lasers


When you’re looking onto a sea of massive lasers, it can be easy to overlook world class showmanship by a band that has more than earned their merits. With a display of lights piercing into the depths of your retina, you might not notice the charismatic frontman Aaron Behrens all over the Crystal Ballroom stage and a caped Thomas Turner live mixing high quality production work as the electric duo tore through a good portion of their discography. Yeah, you might have missed that, but unless you were higher than an SNL cast member the night they had to perform with Donald Trump, you couldn’t miss it.

I walked into the venue that night as a photographer, which is something I rarely do considering I’m just now comfortable labeling myself as such. Point being the lasers that a Ghostland Observatory show is known for is something I wanted to visually capture. Although I woke up the following morning with a headache from a laser hangover, I remembered the first notes being played when the opened with “Glitter” and how crisp their sound was. I remembered Aaron running from side to side with the energy of an Olympic sprinter. His voice stuck in the back of my head well after I made it home.


I am not in any way saying that the lasers were underwhelming. In fact, they were even more phenomenal than I predicted. The pictures took themselves. There were waves of green, purple, yellow, blue, then a quick break before the red contrasted with the the dark room until another bombardment of yellow beams ricocheting off the chandeliers, walls, and balcony. This was a breathtaking display of lights from every angle, and pictures can only do so much.

Their set, which ran almost 90 minutes and included a three song encore, had the hollow floor bouncing itself into a pool of sweat with songs that rock too hard to be considered EDM, yet are too electronic to be indie rock. What Ghostland Observatory does is provide that perfect middle ground for guitar lovers and disco, which may sound like a bad sitcom idea, but if you throw in those amazing lasers, it makes for a wild show.

(Below is a Flickr gallery of photos from the concert.)

Ghostland Observatory

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Colin Hudson

Colin has been reviewing and writing about music in the Pacific Northwest for three years. His background lies heavily within funk and blues, but has explored new depths since moving away from his hometown in Indiana. Now, Colin is up to just about any genre and has contributed for a number of local, regional, and national publications including The Deli Portland, Oregon Music News, SSG Music, InTheMix, and The Untz. In his spare time Colin enjoys wearing sunglasses all the time and pondering about the awesome mustache he used to have.

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