“Don’t Sleep/In the morning this will all seem fake/So don’t sleep,” sang Alan Paloma, lead singer of Neon Indian at In the Venue Thursday night. All the sounds emitted from the stage during their opening set for Phoenix were definitely not the kind to put you to sleep.
Synth-based electro-pop is hard to recreate in a live setting because there is so much going on, and a good portion of bands (for example MGMT at In the Venue earlier this summer) in this genre use backing tracks when performing a live set.
This is not a method that Neon Indian resorted to Thursday night. The show was original and fresh, from the instruments used to the lighting effects. Paloma, also a member of power-pop band VEGA, is a natural performer. The enthusiasm and charisma he displayed on stage was charming, as well as riveting.
Most fan favorites from their EP, Psychic Chasms, were played, including: “Sleep Paralysist,” “Deadbeat Summer” and “6669.” Neon Indian’s music is modern with an '80s twist. Listening to them play was almost like stepping into a time machine. Most of the audience’s feet moved to the beats, in an almost helpless fashion. By the time Neon Indian was done playing, the crowd was more than adequately warmed up for the headliner Phoenix.
Phoenix, also of the indie-electro
variety, played a great set as well. The most entertaining note was when lead
singer Thomas Mars sprawled on the stage with his feet in the air during an entire
song. Hits like “Listomania,” “Lasso” and “Fences” were played. As the show drew
to a close, fans left in a state of electronic euphoria.