There are some bands that sound and communicate better through albums than live performances. Ghostland Observatory is not one of those bands.

With healthy combinations of electronic, funk and rock elements and a jaw-dropping visual live show, Ghostland Observatory stands out as a true gem amongst the endless sea of pebbles in the inundated electronic genre.

The Associated Students Productions Pop Music’s Ghostland Observatory show featuring local DJ, Cedaa, will take place Sunday, May 13 in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and presale tickets are $17 with student ID and $23 general admission. At the door, tickets are $19 with ID and $25 general admission.

Through varying degrees of pulsing, punching synth leads, crisply-programmed beats and rock’n’roll guitar riffs, Ghostland Observatory’s sound caters to a handful of musical tastes. Whether it is through the smooth pop styling of songs such as “Paparazzi Lightning,” or the curiously humorous conversational vocals in “Codename: Rondo,” Ghostland Observatory’s Aaron Behrens and Thomas Turner continue to diversify their craft from song to song and album to album.

“They are always doing pretty original stuff,” ASP Pop Music Coordinator Megan Housekeeper said. “I think they’re extremely experimental and really interesting in a psychedelic way. They’re still doing a kind of vocal-heavy electronic, which you don’t see as much.”

Ghostland Observatory is known for their live performances, Housekeeper said. Even though the MPR is a much smaller venue than the band is used to playing, they will still bring their entire visual production rig consisting of multiple lights, lasers and other special effects.

“People are kind of surprised that this act is coming to Western, which to me is the ultimate positive feedback,” Housekeeper said. “I’m not sure that there’s another venue in Bellingham that could support this act.”

Cedaa, the stage moniker for Western senior and musician Simon Ho, will open for Ghostland Observatory with a DJ set.
Ho said that he produces and plays ephemeral, off-filter electronic, dance and house music. He said he is most excited to perform with the aid of Ghostland Observatory’s high-end visual production equipment.

“It’s an amazing opportunity. It’s been a big trend recently in electronic music concerts and concerts overall to have really elaborate light installations and show installations,” Ho said. “I like the trend and I’m happy that Western can get a little chunk of that level of production value because it definitely really does elevate that experience.”

Housekeeper said Ghostland Observatory is an act that Western has wanted to book for a long time and their show will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“For people who haven’t seen them live before or who haven’t heard anything about their live shows, check out YouTube videos and see what they do with their lights. It’s really cool,” said Housekeeper.

“It’s a unique opportunity for Bellingham and for Western to have them up here. It’s sort of like now or never, so definitely go.”