There are nights when you realize that the universe has aligned an event in such a way that it would be a fallacy to miss out on. When two beloved local bands, Night Drive and Ghostland Observatory, can be found playing together on a Friday night – the pangs of FOMO for anybody living in Austin will drive any local music fan mad. Luckily, over a thousand fans were able to pack the sold-out show and get down to the Texan electro-groove.
While originally hailing from Houston, Night Drive has its adopted parents in the Austin music scene. Cinematic soundscapes coalesce with pulsing dance beats to create memorable and infectious songs that burrow deep into your frontal lobe. Friday night, Rodney Connell and Brandon Duhon, played their long overdue self-titled debut album to an extremely receptive crowd. Tracks like “Trapeze Artist Regrets” and “Rise and Fall” induced dance moves from everyone present while ushering in a christening of recognition for this well-deserving duo.
While Night Drive was the ideal opener, Ghostland Observatory was who everyone was truly yearning to see. Vocalist Aaron Behrens is somewhat of a grounded demi-god who seems otherworldly in his rockstardom but is accessible as a fellow Austinite. While picking up my ticket, an elderly couple told me that they had met Aaron when he was trying to buy a car off their lot, and that he was such a lovely gentleman that he offered them tickets to see his rock and roll band.
While Aaron and his electro-wizard partner, Thomas Turner, are hometown heroes, they certainly don’t skimp on the production. The laser show for the headliners was incendiary and seizure-inducing to a unheralded degree. Older hits like “Sad Sad City”, “Piano Man”, and “Rich Man” received a raucous reception while Codename Rondo hits like “Give Me The Beat” and “Glitter” kept the engine revving. Aaron Behrens jumped around the stage like a cartoon character, achieving a level of cool that many of us will never know.
Night Drive and Ghostland Observatory are incredible live shows to begin with, but plant them in a hometown crowd and they suddenly become untouchable. Shows like these make Austinites proud of their city and proud of these next-gen artists who are still defining the scene.