Concert Reviews

Review: Ghostland Observatory at Red Rocks, with MiM0SA and Zion I, 6/15/12


As if the signs plastered all over the Red Rocks weren't enough forewarning, Ghostland Observatory drove the point home of exactly what kind of show they put on, and let's just say it involves lights. Lots of lights. From the beginning to the end of the headliner's relatively short set, it was pretty much a visual enthusiasts dream, full of strobes, moving lights and, well, lots and lots and lots of lasers.

With exhausted anticipation, the crowd got to experience laser Ghostland around 11:45 or so. When the Austin, Texas duo finally took the stage, following a quick lighting check involving panning laser show and some synth checks courtesy of the cape-adorned keyboardist Thomas Ross Turner, Ghostland brought enough energy to wake and shake all of Morrison.

The outfit opened with "Glitter," a real entrancing kind of track that pulls you in more when its performed live thanks to the noise improvisations of Turner. On the lead, Aaron Kyle Behrens traipsed around the stage in flamboyant rapture, captivating the entire crowd with not only the song selection, but his feverish shrieks and seizing dance moves. Behrens occasionally grabbed a guitar and plucked away for a bit while becoming encapsulated in smoke, while Turner would just continue to showcase his genius with a wall of sound. By the time the duo ventured through four tracks leading up to "Midnight Voyage," the crowd was rather restless and started to dwindle.

Tigran Mimosa, known around the world simply as MiM0SA, came on before Ghostland, and played what seemed like an exhausting amount of time. For real. While it's always great to see someone who has worked really hard to rise to the top, on this night, MiM0SA basically just sat back behind the mixers and pressed play. According to him we heard some new stuff, but each track selection was so short lived it was hard to stay in the moment and absorb what was being played.

Of course, no DJ set is complete these days without playing some sort of remix of Waka Flocka's "Hard In Da Paint," and MiM0SA's proved to be no exception. Regardless of how good his studio cuts are, MiM0SA live set is lacking something. Granted, he had massive stage backing him, but that's not enough to grasp a crowd if the foundation of sound is not holding it up. It was fast. It was loud. It was choppy. It just wasn't the best set, and that could very well be that perhaps Red Rocks is just too big for a set like this, which would probably find a better reception in a smaller venue.

Zion I opened, and the weed smoking commenced. Amp Live got his glorious recognition playing some real heavy bass tracks -- showing signs of the merging hip-hop/dubstep genre -- but for the most part, it was close to the same set we heard when Zion I was here last at Altitude Music Festival. Crowd reception was good, and people held their joints high when asked to do so, but the real hip-hop just couldn't compete with the anticipation for MiM0SA's set.


Personal Bias: I think this venue is too large for these artists to handle. Seriously.

By The Way:Ghostland Observatory had fifteen lasers.

Random Detail: Medics had the upper north lot on lockdown towards the end of the show due to some trespassers who got injured climbing on the rocks. There are signs to steer you away from this.

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Britt Chester is a writer and video producer living in Denver, Colorado. He's covered breaking news, music, arts and cannabis for Westword since 2010. His work has appeared in GQ Magazine, Village Voice, YES! Weekly, Inman News and the Winston-Salem Journal. He likes running, cycling, and interviewing people.
Contact: Britt Chester