If you saw the multitudes gathered for Robert DeLong’s Cincinnati appearances at consecutive Bunbury Music Festivals in 2013 and 2014, you’d understand why he makes regular stops in Cincinnati. The DJ/multi-instrumentalist has amassed a fervent fan base here, and they turn out in droves to witness his compelling stage presentation; DeLong’s Bunbury debut drew an impressive crowd to that year’s Main Stage at Yeatman’s Cove, and the next year was even bigger as fans were sardined along the Serpentine Wall to witness his River Stage set.
DeLong’s combination of Electronic pulse and Indie Rock energy speaks to the fascinating breadth of his musical experience. The suburban Seattle native played in high school Pop/Punk bands, then moved to Los Angeles in 2004 to study drums at Azusa Pacific University. DeLong played in a variety of bands during his college years, and his post-college life included giving drum lessons and soaking up Techno vibes from the underground Electronic scene. He’d long worked on his own songs, many of which he reimagined with an Electronic flair after his scene exposure, and his long-simmering computer nerdiness cross-pollinated with his newfound love of Dubstep and Electronica to result in a wealth of material.
A residency at a local scene hotbed led to a meeting with the founder of renowned Electronic label Glassnote Records, and DeLong’s 2012 debut EP, Global Concepts, and 2013 full-length, Just Movement, soon followed.
DeLong’s success over the past four years hasn’t merely been a by-product of his Electronic predilections. His recordings — including last year’s full-length In the Cards — feature songs that reflect on modern concerns both personal and global and accurately channel all of his musical influences, from the lyrical gravity of Death Cab for Cutie to the atmospheric electro-jolt of Boards of Canada.
In the live context, DeLong creates a frenzy of danceable mayhem by generating layers of vocals and instrumentation through loops controlled by a clusterhump of devices and repurposed video game remotes and consoles. His dance-and-think-while-the-world-and-your-relationship-burn intensity is a major component of his appeal, as is his ability to unite his audience (the members of which have dubbed themselves the Tribe of Orphans) through devotional face painting — typically a simple orange X facilitated by assistants roaming through the crowd with paint and a brush.
Click here for more info on the free show.