Charismatic. Fun. Energetic. These are just a few words to describe the Provo, Utah rock band Neon Trees. I think if you have seen any commercials lately, you have heard the infectious “Everybody Talks”, but my first encounter with the band was at Life Is Beautiful Festival in 2014. They were one of the last acts that many fans endured the dry desert heat to watch, but with good reason. If you wanted an entertaining show, you got one. The same could be said for their “Intimate Night With Neon Trees” limited tour run. Irving Plaza may be a little bigger than your typical intimate setting, but it’s close enough where fans try to get their Stretch Armstrong on and reach to the stage.
Opener Fictionist also hail from Provo, Utah. Who would have thought that this small town would churn out so many good bands? Songs like “Not Over You” and “Free Spirit” put the crowd in a trance amongst the green and blue black drop. This show was booked in good taste because all the bands really complimented each other.
There are some bands that you find at a show and dig out of nowhere. Coin was that band for me. The group, recently signed to Columbia Records, just released their self-titled album in April. To describe a brief moment, guitarist Joe Memmel went crazy during one song and rushed into vocalist Chase Lawrence for a good laugh. It showed the fun nature of the band and their biggest song, “Run”. They are definitely a band to keep your eye on in the coming months.
When Neon Trees came on, from behind the vibrations of my earplugs, I could hear people singing at the top of their lungs as lead singer Tyler Glenn dug down inside his gut to scream out his lyrics. The show itself was almost a well done session with friends getting together. There were beautiful spot lights on each member of the band, furthering the intimacy. The band started the night with their newest song, “Songs I Can’t Listen To”, which molded into “Sins Of Our Youth”. Perhaps most impressive was the band’s cover of Dexys Midnight Riders “Come On Eileen” and the fact that everybody in the younger-leaning crowd knew it. I’m not sure if these kids were around for VH1’s Pop Up Video, but the song was a mainstay.
There are bands who are comfortable in who they are and it radiates so much that the songs are just the extension of that feeling. Whether or not the intimate run is gearing up for something bigger, it’s good to see a band of that stature play a smaller club and treat it like an arena.