LIVE: Robert DeLong @ Upstate Concert Hall, 9/11/13
Review and photographs by Jessica Ayotte
After talking to a good amount of people at the show at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park last week, it was clear that there were at least a handful of people at the show primarily to see Ghost Beach, the support act who followed openers Mister F. Originating in New York City, Ghost Beach is an alternative-pop band working on their debut album, which is expected to be released early next year. With a number of people in the crowd anticipating their performance, I was interested to see what they would bring to the stage. The three-piece band was much better than I had expected. Playing their new single, “Miracle,” the band overall seemed to really enjoy what they were doing, showing their enthusiasm both on the stage and off while conversing with fans after the show. They won me over with their performance, and I too will be looking forward to their album debut next year.
With an elaborate and high-tech stage setup, headliner Robert DeLong was a one-man electro-pop band playing a number of songs off of his recently released debut album, Just Movement. While playing some of his radio singles like “Global Concepts” and “Happy,” DeLong controlled his laptops and keyboards with a Wii controller, then quickly jumped on to a traditional drum set playing complex drum solos on the side of the stage, then ended up running back to his keyboards. As I watched him and his crew set up his equipment before the show, I wondered how it was humanly possible for one person to play and keep track of so many laptops/instruments at once.
Although I was a bit skeptical at first at how his live performance would compare to studio recordings, the sounds matched perfectly, and it was an engaging show as well. Not only did DeLong play an exceptional show, his stage presence was also notable. With a crowd of such a surprising age range, DeLong talked and interacted with fans in between songs, and also informed the crowd that he would be happy to meet people after the show. This was especially surprising, because many artists that I have seen usually run off after shows avoiding fan contact.
Another personal touch that DeLong brought to the show was face painting. DeLong’s partner went around the crowd painting fans’ faces with DeLong’s orange X’s or colorful tribal patterns. It definitely added to the mood of his music, a cheerful, hyperactive rave setting. All in all, Robert DeLong put on an unforgettable show, and if you missed it, be sure to catch one of his shows as soon as you get the chance.