By: Derek Jung
Let's get one thing straight here before I even begin this review. Going into the show, I had very little experience with DeLong's music. I had heard his singles, specifically "Long Way Down" and "Global Concepts", but beyond that, I had no idea what to expect; I had no idea if it would be just him, if he'd have a band, or if he'd just be a DJ. In the end, I think I got exactly what I was hoping it'd be.
Robert DeLong is a multi-instrumentalist, but his instruments can be a little unorthodox. During the course of his set he played guitar, drums, keys, and synths. He also used a joystick, a Wii remote, and a steering wheel (among others) plugged into a giant MIDI interface to create his unique sound all the while singing and dancing around the stage. I particularly enjoyed the way he waved his Wii remote all over to distort his vocals. DeLong is definitely a master of his own equipment. He deftly moved from one knob to the next, hitting different drum pads, and using two microphones to sing in, one normal and another with a faded echo effect.
This was a super heavy bass set, exactly what you'd expect from a club atmosphere where everyone's on the dance floor, but my eyes were constantly on DeLong: watching what he was doing, which equipment he was fiddling with, and memorizing background visuals reacting to every twist and turn. Speaking of the visuals, they were something special. Starting from an opening sequence of Seal singing "Kiss From a Rose" live with things like marijuana leaves superimposed in his hands, to Mario and other video game references, there was something new for each song, and usually it was usually triggered by DeLong's playing. On "Long Way Down", the words "ON", "THE", "LONG WAY", and "DOWN" were projected on the screen along with the female vocal part when Delong pressed certain buttons on a board. Some of the coolest parts of his set were started by some element of drumming, and it makes sense because of DeLong's history as a drummer. He had a full drum set (right side of the picture), and a partial set (left side) that he used from time to time, including for a pretty great drum solo on the full set at the end of his set. I really enjoyed how fresh he kept the set, never falling into a rut and always keeping things up tempo and engaging.
DeLong brought out opener Coleman Hell for a song, and the three manned the partial drum set. Coleman Hell had a decent opening set. He doesn't have a lot of material now, and I was disappointed that he didn't have a live banjo for his hit single, but all in all he was a likable, passable opener. As for DeLong, I'd definitely see him again, not because I'm the biggest fan of his music, but because he put on an enjoyable show.
Check out a live version of "Long Way Down" for earlier this year.
Who are we?
Derek Jung and Joseph Kathmann -- Just two ordinary (debatable) guys that love talking about music. You can read more about us here: