On October 31, the French Horn Rebellion and Robert Delong played at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, N.Y. Located in a strip mall, the venue exhibits an unassuming presence; during the day, the parking lot outside looks almost vacated. However, on Halloween, costumed concert-goers packed the Upstate Concert Hall, as the French Horn Rebellion opened up the crowd.
Robert Perlick-Molinari ran onstage in a Japanese-style robe, wielding his French horn. Accompanied by similarly robed David Perlick-Molinari on drums, Robert kicked off the show with a fantastic French horn solo. Following their stellar first song, the group cracked a joke that they were changing their name to “Robe”-rt Delong, which was, of course, answered by a unanimous groan from the crowd. Jumping right into their next few songs, the duo actively interacted with the audience, with Robert running across the stage and at one point jumping into the crowd with his French horn. A song towards the middle of their act had Robert splitting the audience in two. One half was the “orchestra” and screamed and shouted when pointed at, while the other was the “marching band,” first touching the ground then slowly standing up. The French Horn Rebellion understood the crowd well and was a fantastic act before Robert Delong.
In between sets, Delong played an episode from season two of the TV series Rick and Morty; I didn’t really think much of it. Then right before his act, the same four television screens displayed a heavily memed version of Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose,” filled with subliminal messages. Upon the video’s conclusion, Delong ran onstage in a Rick costume with a handle of Bulleit whiskey. Taking a swig, he yelled “wubba lubba dub dub” into the mic, and used this reverberated soundbite as his intro to his first song. Strewn across the stage like a mad scientist’s laboratory were two drumsets, assorted MIDI pad keyboard and button controllers, custom DJ controller, guitar, and of course his signature Nintendo Wii remote for vocal delay glitching. Delong perfectly embraced the role of mad scientist, playing backing electronic tracks on his MIDI controllers in preparation for his wild, yet expertly executed, improvisations on drums. Though his recorded music consists mainly of EDM and electronica, the artist’s live performance offers familiar alternative rock sounds and an explosive performance. Like the French Horn Rebellion before him, Delong jumped into the middle of the audience, grasping only his Wii Remote Controller and commanding presence. His captivating charisma set the show apart from other concerts I’ve been to; I really enjoyed his live performances of “Long Way Down” and “Global Concepts.”
I LOVED this concert. Both the French Horn Rebellion and Robert Delong gave dynamic performances that actively involved the crowd. Additionally, Upstate Concert Hall provides an intimate environment for concert-goers; there is no barrier between the audience and stage. This is something that I have never seen before, especially for such popular acts that perform at Upstate Concert Hall, including Robert Delong.
So two things: if you don’t know who Robert Delong is, please go on YouTube or Spotify and check him out, then be on the lookout for when his next concert is. Second, check out Upstate Concert Hall’s calendar; they hosted New Found Glory and Yellowcard earlier last week and are hosting Matt and Kim in December. With those names at this kind of venue, you’ll receive a performance you won’t experience anywhere else.