Concert Review: Neon Trees puts on a memorable show at The Fillmore in Denver
Posted on October 4, 2012
The Offspring rolled through town last weekend with Dead Sarah and Neon Trees supporting. Anyone could see that Dead Sarah made more sense as a supporting act than Neon Trees did so I was curious as to how well the Neon Trees set would go over, especially with more of a hard rocking, punkish type of crowd.
Neon Trees are a pop band with slight undertones of pop punk and glam rock woven in and out of their songs, but when it comes down to brass tacks they are most definitely a pop band which is why it just didn’t seem right for them to be direct support for a band like the Offspring.
At first glance Neon Trees came across as rather trite with way more than a nod or wink to the over the top pop bands of the 80’s. The lights, the kick drum head with “fame is dead” written on it, even the way they dressed was almost a copy of a Duran Duran, Power Station, or Spandau Ballet concert from way back in the day. The 80’s did that scene to death and you would think that there would be no room for that kind of thing in the noughties, but you’d be wrong. I could have just dropped that show right there and written them off as an 80’s wannabe band, but as it turns out they are so much more.
Neon Trees, as it turns out, is a very energetic band that throws down some highly infectious, likeable tunes. They make you want to dance, tap your feet, clap your hands and sing along…..even if you don’t know the words.
Neon Trees is fronted by Tyler Glenn and that dude is a madman on stage. Considering most of the audience was there to hear a completely different style of music than what Neon Trees plays they got great response from the crowd and everybody seemed to be having a great time, but Tyler kept egging everyone on. He wanted to hear more people cheering; he wanted to
see movement on the floor, etc., and to get everyone more hyped he just kept getting wilder and wilder on stage.
Tyler is seriously manic on stage and it’s hard to keep up with him because he is never still. One second he’s at one side of the stage jumping up and down, the next second he’s on the other, or at the back of the stage……or front and center kicking over his synthesizer.
I hate to admit it but I didn’t recognize the first two songs of their set at all but like everything else I’ve heard from this band they were catchy, hook laden synth pop tunes with some pretty decent guitar sprinkled throughout, although the guitar was definitely more prevalent on “Sins Of My Youth”. The third song in their set was “1983” and pretty that tune pretty much sums the band up nicely. This song is everything that is good about Neon Trees. It was hella catchy, memorable, and energetic and it has a good hook. The “whoas” in this song are addictive and soon the whole crowd was singing the “whoa” parts.
It was hard to discern whether or not the crowd was familiar with most of Neon Trees music as people cheered and danced to almost everything they played, but it was abundantly clear that just about every single person inside The Fillmore had heard “Animal” at least once. As soon as the tell-tale synth started the crowd cheered louder than for any previous song and when Tyler started to sing hundreds of voices rose up to meet his voice singing along with him word for word.
For someone not very familiar with their music I have to say it was a great show from the opening notes of “Moving In The Dark” all the way through to their new hit single. “Everybody Talks” was obviously the crowd pleaser of the night. They played it exceptionally well, and again the whole crowd jumped in singing in unison at Tyler’s insistence.
Catchy 80’s tinged power pop is what these cats are about and they look and play the part to a T. If you can……imagine Billy Idol fronting Duran Duran back in the day and you start to get an inkling of what Neon Trees is like in a live setting. Almost everything about their show screams homage to earlier pop and pop bands, from the lighting and sound, to Chris Allen’s suit jacket (again with the Spandau Ballet), to Tyler Glenn’s over the top, glam style, tight, striped pants. Neon Trees is a step back to when music was fun and carefree…….but I’ve realized they’re also a step forward in that as fun as their songs are there is also a lot of meaning to the lyrics if you listen right. But don’t try and dissect the songs. Bands like Neon Trees are meant to be fun and exciting and they did a great job at bringing both those things to the stage and I think it’s pretty safe to say that they probably left Denver with quite a few more fans than they had when they arrived.
Oh! If you are going to a Neon Trees show anytime soon, plan on having at least one of their songs bouncing around in your head for at least a day or two after the show. You have been warned.
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All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.com
Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees. Photo by Paul Edmisson
Neon Trees performing '1983' on stage at the Fillmore Auditorium. Photo by Paul Edmisson
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