July 21, 2015 | TLA, Philadelphia, PA
Review + photos by Jen Green
It’s been three years since the city of Brotherly Love has hosted the alternative rock band, Neon Trees. Joined by Coin and Fictionist, Neon Trees played Tuesday night at the Theatre of Living Arts.
The stage was set with an open dance floor stage for lead singer, Tyler Glenn to prance around. Stylish as ever, Glenn grooved around in his Doc Martens, black ripped jeans, and shiny gold leather jacket. The band opened with a new single, “Songs I Can’t Listen To” which despite being new, was taken well by the fans.
The show setlist is much of a surprise as the setlist is hidden well enough that fans can’t be spoiled. With only a couple more shows left for this tour, the high energy frontman is holding nothing back, raging through songs from all three albums. He tells the crowd that he thinks they have the dancing spirit and begins “1983”, with the crowd clapping in sync.
This tour has been called “An Intimate Night With Neon Trees”, and it is named rightfully so. While many songs are upbeat and funky songs with deep lyrics, the band has had their difficulties this year. The band is three solid albums into their career and having alternative radio hits, yet the road hasn’t been easy. Tyler Glenn opens up to the crowd explaining what has been going on the past year: “I want to explain to you that morale in Neon Trees world is kind of low. There is a lot of things behind the scenes that you don’t see. You see the bright shining clothes and you see a smiling gay guy in the front. You do. You see us and we look happy and confident but you know the business is interesting and we got kind of tired of it. I was one to quickly just be like, okay oh—to throw in the towel. I’m not threatening anybody, these thoughts come to mind because its easy to quit”.
The passionate fans who have found hope and happiness from the music shout back words of encouragement to the singer. To no avail, as the speech continues on there is a sign of a happy future for the band.
“But what I must tell you is we decided to write music together and we wrote some new songs. And I want to let you know how good it felt it did to do things the way we wanted to… We curated the tour where we were playing theaters that maybe we have played before or maybe we haven’t but the point was a core audience inside of the room singing and dancing. And you guys have turned out in every city and I want to let you know how much joy is filled my heart my friends up here heart and it feels really good,” says Glenn. New music is expected to come soon.
The band goes on expressing their gratitude by dedicating the next song, “Mad Love” to the fans who have made the tour the success it has been. “Mad Love” features the powerful female drummer on vocals who wasn’t able to play in Philadelphia last tour because she was pregnant. This tour she finds herself jamming out on the road while pregnant again!
An organ sound fills the theatre while a quiet falls onto the crowd. Two white lights shine on stage as the frontman begins the very underrated song, “First Things First” as the night begins to come to an end.
Joking around that they don’t do encores because the fans have cheered a lot already, the smash hits that were saved for last begin as the crowd erupts with cheers. “Sleeping With A Friend” and “Everybody Talks” has the crowd dancing and singing along in the way the band has always wanted. Jumping from the stage into the sea of fans, Glenn crowd surfs for his final goodbye before ending with an upbeat cover of Dexys Midnight Runners, “Come On Eileen”.
Neon Trees lyrics have positively impacted fans of all ages and can be seen from the hundreds of fans decked out in Neon Trees merchandise who poured out of the venue after the show. The band expressed their gratitude throughout the show and have proved that beautiful songs and lyrics can come out of a dark place.
For those who were unable to catch the show, it will be broadcasted live on WHYY within the next few months.
You can see the remaining Neon Tree tour dates at http://www.fameisdead.com/
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