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Live: Get Your GLO On - Ghostland Observatory and Flosstradamus - 11/9/08

Disco lights? Lasers? Glo-Wear? Page Auditorium was definitely not made for this. Duke University Union’s major fall concert was a big departure from their usual fare as everyone on campus could tell that they were trying to push “Get Your GLO On” as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Transforming Page Auditorium into a venue where people could dance and rush up to the stage proved difficult due to seating and fire codes preventing any sort of freedom. Worse, as the lights were off for Ghostland Observatory’s set, the head of Duke University Major Attractions came out and told people that they weren’t allowed to stand in the aisles. So it was surprising to me how hundreds of people ended up jumping and screaming to a fairly inaccessible genre of music that could hardly be called mainstream.

DJ Josh “J2k” Young playing Flosstradamus’s remix to “Pro Nails,” a track by his little sister MC Kid Sister featuring Kanye West.

The DJ duo Flosstradamus opened with a great set featuring their own remixes of popular tracks, getting the crowd jumping up and down excitedly. DUU had the Duke Stop Motion Crew adorned in glo-wear going around the aisles trying to get people as excited as possible. I’ve only seen two DJ acts before (Justice, DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist), and as far as I could tell they were a hybrid of the two combining the latter’s flair for improvisation and shifts in tempo with the former’s abrasive sound. Their set was filled with recognizable tracks along the lines of Daft Punk, MGMT, Basement Jaxx and Alice Deejay as well as a few surprises in Chubby Checker and Benny Benassi. Highlights were their remixes of Kid Sister’s “Pro Nails” and Matt & Kim’s “Yea Yeah," even if the crowd wasn’t too familiar with either. At least they loved chanting along to “Yea Yeah.”

Ghostland Observatory came out to a lot of cheers, but it seemed like DUU’s warning to the crowd kept the excitement level down for the first few tracks. The crowd needed time to warm up to the group; it wasn’t until the popular track “Dancing to Vibrate” and the heavily promoted “Sad Sad City” that the crowd started getting into it as the songs became recognizable.

The ceiling of Page provided a great backdrop of synchronized laser lighting to the glowing, red stage. Frontman Aaron Behrens was very energetic and glided across the floor, thanking the crowd for having an “open heart and open mind.” The audience responded by screaming for an encore to which Behrens came out and declared, “we’ll keep on getting on, getting down!” Towards the end, the crowd became really into the show as they saved their most accessible electro-pop track for last. People began jumping around, screaming, clapping and more or less freaking out.

Still, Ghostland Observatory is definitely an act that absolutely requires an accompanying, even gimmicky laser light show. Their music is more visual than sensory, as it requires individuals to imagine themselves elsewhere to be effective. Lucky for them, DUU did a great job transforming Page Auditorium into somewhere else that night and the crowd just kept on dancing.

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