After a full day of festival activities making my way out to Schubas to see Ghostland Observatory was a bit difficult. The music, the sun and the dancing had completely taken its toll on me, but if there was one show i was not missing during my weekend in Chicago it was this.
Digging deep down into my energy reserves i was immediately rewarded the instant i walked into Schubas. A tiny bar with a back room filled to the brim with buzzing fans i knew it was going to be a good show. Thomas Turner took the stage in his traditional blue cape and Aaron Behrens sported tight jeans, aviator sunglasses and two long braids. Their set earlier in the day was quite the enjoyable experience. Watching Behrens twirl across a large stage as the camera panned from behind him-a crazed silhouette against the Chicago skyline i had a permanent grin plastered to my face. The intimate setting of Schubas and an audience of 200 surrounding me let me know i was at home as they sang every word during the eleven song set.
Behrens evokes the spirit of Scott Whyland and David Gahn with pure sexuality and self-confidence that immediately intoxicates and entertains. A classically trained dancer he encompasses any space he occupies with his lithe body gyrating gracefully to the music as his songs fall upon your body and infiltrates your ears. Turner backs him up gently rocking to the music as he switches from spinning to his drum kit and back again. Aaron takes time away from dancing and centers his energy on the guitar which inhibits his moves but showcases his musical ability. A solid set progresses towards a lyric that sums up Ghostland Observatory on this steamy August night, ‘It’s a hot night to be cool,’ so come on Chicago, kick off those dancing shoes — Ghostland Observatory is in town!
Crowd favorite, ‘Sad Sad City’ found people squealing the lyrics with delight as Behrens balanced on the edge of the stage thrusting out towards the audience and raising his arms to the ceiling with complete abandon. The small stage confined his larger than life on stage persona and i came to acknowledge a fact that i had already known deep down inside. Ghostland Observatory is considered a relatively ‘small band’ made up of only two members with one album under the belt-but they are in no way a small band- at all. They deserve to be playing large stages in every city to hoards of screaming, dancing fans- and with enough time they soon shall be. For now, if they come to a city near you-buy your tickets early, drag your friends and dance your socks off. Turner and Behrens are the real deal.