Opening for the pop trio AJR at the beloved Aragon Ballroom, Robert DeLong did not fail to hype up the crowd for what ended up being a very energetic night. This pairing for a show was absolutely perfect. They have similar styles and influences; from the use of complex layers of sounds to the well crafted and balanced vibe throughout.
Robert DeLong got the crowd dancing right off the bat with his intricate array of percussion and electronic soundscapes. His peculiar use of distinct items as “instruments,” psychotropic screen visuals and vivid lasers made him an intriguing and superb performer. What had me the most in awe was Robert DeLong’s use of a Wii remote as an instrument throughout his set. While towering over the lively crowd and singing into the microphone in one hand, he held the Wii remote in the other using it to create different sounds when he was away from his drums. This alone was likely one of the most entertaining parts about his entire set.
However, DeLong kept the interesting atmosphere going as he also incorporated the entire stage setup into his music. Using lasers that emerged from the ground as a sort of futuristic Tron universe drum kit, he hit the individual beams; each producing a different and unique tone. He only did this a handful of times throughout the set which made it that much more exciting and epic as the lights dimmed and he passionately drummed away at the lasers. It was a visually striking moment that elevated the show.
I haven’t seen many electronic performers do so much at the same time on the spot with an intricate variety of drums and other gadgets. It was very impressive watching Delong juggle everything and still sound so amazing. His performance style reminded me of electronic musician Lido, who has a similar aesthetic and musical style. I am not a fan of DJs that stand behind their booth, hit “play” and hype the crowd up to unoriginal beat drops. If you are into electronic music and want to catch an entertaining performer at the same time, Robert DeLong is your guy. He will surely have you smiling and amazed at his ability to do so much on stage. I wanted to catch an electronic show brimming with passion and energy and that is exactly what Robert DeLong delivered.
All photos by Andrew Lagunas.