Neon Trees are my favorite new band. The Utah quartet serves up a spirited mash-up of diverse ’80s pop and rock influences — everything from The Smiths to Duran Duran to Michael Jackson — and their second album Picture Show improves upon their hook-laden sound. The group played two sold out shows at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC this week, and I interviewed singer Tyler Glenn (for the Aquarian) and met the other members prior to their second show last night.
It’s nice to see a group that pays homage to the Eighties and almost literally siphons the sounds and ideas of that time. You could plunk them down in the middle of that decade and almost no one would guess they came from the future. Their exuberantly energetic set last night proved it as they invoked the spirit of that era and rocked the house for an over an hour playing tunes from Picture Show and their previous album Habits. They did not stick to the script with these shows; for example, offering a slower intro to “In The Next Room” and Tyler performing a mellow acoustic rendition of “Your Surrender”. I suggested to Tyler beforehand that sometime Neon Trees cover The Producers hit “She Sheila”. That would make my year.
Here is some visual evidence from the gig.