7/20: Neon Trees @ 930 with COIN, Fictionist

A Monday night is not the best night for a show, but then again, maybe it is. The crowd at the 930 Club seemed to be acting like it was a Saturday night. Perhaps it was the line up of energizing and talented bands ahead?

First up was Fictionist, hailing from, Provo, UTHA the same small town as Neon Trees. The band was comprised of five incredibly plain clothed musicians who looked like they were having the time of their life. The alternative rock group played high-energy songs, with each musician changing instruments and sharing the vocal duties. Being the opener for the opener, Fictionist was remarkably talented, good-natured, and simply down to have a good time. This video definitely sums up their playfulness, creativity, and musical talent!

8:45 pm: By now the venue had taken on the persona and energy of a venue waiting for the main act, despite only a 15 minute break between sets. Suddenly, the lights went dark, and “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson of all songs came on, and the entire crowd went straight into singing along to the music. Maybe this was COIN’s pre show song to get the crowd pumped? Regardless, it seemed to do the trick and the band bounded onto the stage to a pretty hefty amount of cheering. COIN, with about 1.3 million hits on its most popular song on Spotify, had a decent fan-base at the venue already. From Nashville, Tennessee, the band describes itself as a “product of the 90’s” that just wants “to make music that makes you feel good.” The band definitely encapsulated the energy of the 90s, with none of its songs giving up any energy, whatsoever. The band released its debut self titled album a little over a month ago, and already many in the audience knew the words. The band did a wonderful job of hyping the crowd up, and gave them a great performance. They also had a pretty nifty looking neon sign of their band name, just sayin’.

9:45 pm (ON THE DOT. You gotta give it to the 930 Club, they’re almost on a German level of precision, and that’s saying a lot when Americans are involved.)

Neon Trees came on to the stage, and needless to say, they rocked the house. Lead singer Tyler Glenn was by far the star of the show, with incredibly tight jeans and shameless golden doc Martens. Glenn was one of the most physical and high-energy performers I’ve seen, perhaps more than Kim Schifino of Matt and Kim. Dazzling the crowd with his dance move and unfettered energy, Glenn bounded across every part of the stage, stood on his toes MJ style, laid down more than once, and yes,did a bit of crowd surfing. Neon Trees’ live performance was a pleasant surprise to me, as they rocked out more than any one of their studio-recorded songs could ever size up to. The band had the advantage of having multiple hits which practically the entire venue sang from heart, and even the less popular songs many knew the lyrics to.

What impressed me most about the performance was how personable and interactive the band was with the crowd, particularly Glenn. Throughout the show, Glenn stopped to just talk to the crowd, reflect on songs and their meanings and just talk ingeneral. Before a song, he said, “tonight,we sing, we sweat, and we dance together, because we’re in this together.” Towards the end of the show, where a band would usually do an encore, Glenn simply said that the band decided to skip the bullshit and not do any encores, that is was more honest of a performance that way. I certainly enjoyed the change from the almost cookie cutter pattern of performances nowadays. He then remarked as he was sweating profusely, that when he has a mic in his hands, a lot of stuff comes out of his mouth, and that the bottom line is that everybody talks. Cue direct transition to Neon Trees’ most popular song, “Everybody Talks”(duh) and cue crowd going wild. But, surprisingly, that wasn’t the end of the show. Neon Trees closed out their show with a cover of the 1982 hit single, “Come On Eileen.” If I wasn’t convinced yet, I definitely was won over by this pleasant surprise. After the great cover, Glenn thanked everyone for coming and that “if any of it made any sense to you, thank you for listening.”

Here are some more shots of the night: 

All photography by Anour Esa