Robert DeLong may not be the hardest working musician ever, but he is definitely one of the hardest working musicians when actually on stage. While I would certainly classify him as an electronic artist, his range goes far beyond what many people think of when they think of EDM (i.e. “pressing buttons”).
DeLong’s sound is diverse, ranging from house to indie to moombahton to rock. But even more diverse than his sound is his stage setup. Like many others, his laptop provides a backing track. Unlike many others, he has multiple drum kits, as well as several drum pads. He has video game controllers rigged to produce sound when he plays them; he sings, including looping his own voice during the show; he plays guitar; he plays keyboards; he probably uses instruments that I don’t even have a vocabulary for. He is never static, bouncing from equipment to equipment, probably accruing more steps during a 60 minute performance than I do in a full day of FitBit tracking. He is a jack of all trades and master of all of them, too.
Curious as to how this all works? Check out the video below, where he goes back and forth between vocals, drums, keys, and a Wiimote.
Did you notice the face paint in that video? (How could you not?) That, too, is a staple of Robert Delong shows. His face always has a cool, geometric, blacklight-sensitive design on it, and if you want to join in on the fun, yours will too.
When I saw DeLong in 2015, a woman approached me during the show and asked me a question, and I had no idea what she was saying so I just shook my head. It wasn’t until later on that I realized that she was asking me if I wanted my face painted. I tried to find her again, but no luck. I looked around at my fellow concert-goers, jealous. When I went to see Robert DeLong at the South Street Seaport (for free!) last week, I was determined not to make the same mistake again.
This show was so fun and buoyant and I am endlessly impressed by the range of his talents and by the community feel of his small but mighty fans. Check out his most famous track, “Global Concepts,” below, or get all your Robert DeLong goodness over at http://robertdelong.com/. And next time he comes through NYC, come get funky with me!