St. Lucia and Robert DeLong: A Concert Review

By the time the doors opened, the line to see St. Lucia and Robert DeLong had wrapped around the corner of 1st and Pike. As my dad and I slowly filed in, excitement permeated the atmosphere.

Robert is up first. He had packed pretty much everything you could into his small set-up. Drum machines, analogue synthesizers, keyboards, computers, video game controllers, and percussion instruments of every kind. Pairs of TV’s displaying a rotating Klingon head sat at the side of the stage. After another period of waiting, the lights dimmed, the visual display switched, and Robert DeLong emerged on stage with his face painted and dressed in a Star Trek sweater.

What happened next defies explanation. Robert’s act is an experience without equal. Throughout the course of his 45 minute set, he performed some songs from his album Just Movement, some instrumental sequences I didn’t recognize (maybe they’re on his Soundcloud), some new tunes from his forthcoming EP, and a cover my dad recognized from his days as an avid EDM listener (though he couldn’t quite recall the title). Robert’s energy and ability to captivate an audience as a one-man-band is astounding. I believe what accomplished this feat was his incorporation of as many analog elements as possible. We didn’t snap a picture of his performance, but I don’t think it would have been clear if we had tried. He was all over the place, rapidly transitioning from drums to analogue synthesizer to keyboards to video game controllers. Another particularly creative aspect of his performance was his reprogramming of a Wiimote, a, Xbox controller, and a joystick to create sound or modify his voice. Though, due to lyrical content, I can’t recommend anything past his song “Happy,” Robert DeLong has one of the freshest sound palates that I have seen from an EDM artist and the craziest, most creative live production I have ever beheld.

 

St. Lucia emerged in smoke onstage to an amply energized crowd, opening with a newer song, “Cold Case.” I must first comment on the band’s stage set-up. The lights were crisp, flashy, and really complimented their musical style. Plus, I’m a sucker for neon. On top of this stunning display, I think St. Lucia may be the most photogenic band in the history of ever. They just look so good together. They look and play like a family. Their sound is very refined, and Jean-Phillip Grobler’s talent is evidenced by a voice that has the same sound live as on their album, When the Night. Everyone on stage was a multi-instrumentalist, save drummer Dustin Kaufman who killed it in his own right.

Jean-Philip Grobler (L) and Ross Clark (R) tearing it up.  (Photo cred: Eric W. Olsen)

 

Perhaps the unsung hero of the show was keyboardist/percussionist Nicky Paul. The majority of St. Lucia’s distinctive sounds came from his station on the back of the stage, and he seemed to be enjoying himself more than anyone else there. Every band member still put their best foot forward, and the result was the best live show I have seen. Some highlights from their 12 song set were the crowd sing-along on “We Got It Wrong,” new song “Love Somebody,” and a perfect mashup of “September” and a certain 80’s song that I won’t post here should I spoil it for a future concert-goer. The band rounded out the evening with a 3 song encore: new song “Stay” (a welcome addition to their catalog), hit track “Elevate,” and closer “When the Night.” It was a rousing evening that left very little time to rest. Both bands exhilarated and electrified the audience. If St. Lucia ever comes back to Seattle, be sure to catch them before they hit it big.

To get a taste of their live performance, watch this video for “Elevate.”

 

Check out St. Lucia on their website, which conveniently links to all of their social media.  Robert DeLong can be found here for those interested in his work.

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