The term “one-man band” has been recently redefined in every sense of the term. LA based multi-instrumentalist/producer/ (they haven’t made a word up yet to describe the genius) Robert DeLong has literally transcended the limits of music and technology with two full albums and sixty minute sets across the world. He recently nearly sold out The Social (if he didn’t I’m surprised) in a night that could be described only as innovative and infectious.
I walked in on his first song, but the venue was only large enough to contain all of the patrons that had entered before me. I aggressively carved out a human sized hole stage right just steps after crossing the threshold of the entrance. My stomach was empty but full of whiskey, entrancing me into the proper state to enjoy the evening ahead of me. The raw energy and positive vibrations that oozed from DeLong filled the empty space that was left in The Social, from the smallest pockets of space between hundreds of inebriated patrons to the dirt and smoke particles in the air.
Everyone who had shown up earlier and gained entrance to the pit (relinquishing any access to the bar) had their faces painted by DeLong’s team, in a fashion similar to the paint Robert commonly wears. From stage left to right spanned full drum sets, synths, drum pads and a silly amount of modified video game controllers only fathomable in a video game museum. These instruments contained gyroscopes, which bent DeLong’s voice depending upon the movements he made. I don’t think I have the knowledge or time to start to break down DeLong’s gear or technological savvy, so I’ll stop right now.
I now refrain from referring DeLong any type of DJ or EDM artist. Much of his music is based in gritty dance textures and catchy synth hooks, but unlike his contemporaries, DeLong follows a more traditional sense of song composition. These classic, but groundbreaking modern arrangements feature DeLong’s voice singing his heart out on every note. This may seem like a typical feat in any musician’s night, but the complexity and execution of the music and the vocal performance culminated in an all around mind blowing experience
DeLong’s newest album In the Cards showcases these beautifully composed dance songs including his worldwide hit “Long Way Down”. I feel lucky to have seen him at The Social as I’m almost positive next time he’s back he will be playing a larger, but equally packed venue. The show, the music, the man himself all come with an infectious atmosphere that can be enjoyed by lovers of any genre. I’m excited to see how DeLong will advance his already state of the art performance in the years to come.
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