Who’s Who at Bonnaroo: Ghostland Observatory

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    It’s Sunday, June 15th and it’s 2:15 in the morning…do you know where you are? I know where I am. I’m somewhere between “This Tent”, “That Tent” and “The Other Tent” as I venture from Lupe Fiasco, catching a quick glimpse of Sigur Ros (okay, maybe more) along the way, and making my way over to see the early morning set by Ghostland Observatory.

    The duo, hailing from Austin, TX, is made up of Aaron Behrens (vocals and guitar) and Thomas Ross Turner (drums, synths and backup vocals). They take influence from such artists as Daft Punk, The Animals, David Bowie, and The Clash and describe their sound as “A robot making love to a tree!” They’re not interested in major labels or getting their music on shows like “The OC“.

    Gothamist describes Ghostland as “electro-dance soul rock” and I think it is pretty fitting. They thrive on their more beat-driven tunes like “Piano Man” or “Midnight Voyage” but without the vocal strength that Behrens dishes out they would be nothing more than just good beats. I have yet to see them live, but having heard the bulk of their material (and loving it) combined with Behrens’s comparisons to legendary frontmen like Freddie Mercury and Prince, I am definitely intrigued to see what they have in store for us.


    To me, beginning their set at 2:30am on Sunday morning feels more like an extension of what will be a spectacular music-filled, Saturday night. The downside in getting a timeslot this far along is that many potential viewers are already chasing two nights sleep and beaten down from the blazing sun, and they decide they just can’t hang.

    On the contrary, the upside is that the weak ones are then weeded out, and we’re left with a hardcore base of fans, along with people who just want to keep the party going as long as humanly possible. I’m not skeptical at all that the Austin-based duo will deliver and fulfill their Bonnaroo responsibilities of giving the crowd what they want and turning “this tent” into an all-out, sweaty dance-pit of friendly people ready to party. Definitely check them out!

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