I love synth. I love the 80’s. I love new wave. I love men that can rock a polka dot collared shirt and look phenomenal in it. I love dancing. In short, I loved Neon Indian at the Phoenix on Tuesday, May 8th. II missed the first act Silent Diane, but after extensively watching online live YouTube videos I can tell you that they are an electronic duo, with that low-fi electro pop sound.
Lemonade, formerly San Franciscoans, now Brooklynites, played before Neon Indian, bringing their electronic sound with influences ranging from carribean, top 40, pop, to house. Their debut album received an 8.3 on Pitchfork, which to some, may mean “yea it’s worth a listen”, to others who care less for Pitchfork’s opinion, may mean it is pretentious drivel. I quite like their recordings, as any music fan can appreciate the wide range of influences that peek out in each song. It adds variety instead of listening to slight variations of the same song. However, their sound didn’t translate so well live. It could be that they were playing a venue too large for their sound as of yet, or the fact that the sound guy seemed to be nowhere in sight, only mic’ed the snare drum properly, you couldn’t hear the vocals, dude didn’t turn them up etc. The lead singer looked a bit out of place, only slightly swaying and sometimes moving his arms. Kudos to drummer Alex Pasternak though, Pasternak was a one man show, literally bouncing from foot to foot as he carried the insanely quick tempo throughout every song. Pasternak’s enthusiastic stage presence and the glow in the dark fluorescent pink drumsticks were definitely worth watching.
Alan Palomo has come a long way since his debut album Psychic Chasms. His stage presence has increased tenfold, with Palomo showing off some killer dance moves, added members to his live sets, as well as a Tron inspired lighting set up. When Neon Indian took the stage, to the largest venue they’ve headlined in Toronto as of yet, the crowd was going mad with anticipation. They kicked off their generous set with Local Joke, and it was a dance party from the start. Ripping through a perfect mix of both albums, he had the crowd genuinely cheering for more (not that half hearted “we know they’re coming back” cheer). They finished off with Terminally Chill and Should’ve taken Acid With You, two of the best songs off Psychic Chasms. Glad to have seen them at small and moderate sized venues, I predict Sound Academy and Kool Haus in their futures.