Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Live Review, 4/24/12: Neon Indian Eases Its Way Into Our Hearts At The Fillmore

Posted By on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Neon Indian at the Fillmore last night.
  • Neon Indian at the Fillmore last night.

Neon Indian

Lemonade

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Fillmore

Better than: Trying to enjoy them at Coachella while getting a beat down by the sun.

Twenty-three-year-old musical prodigies such as Neon Indian frontman Alan Palomo tend to be either extremely full of themselves or graciously humble. Palomo proved to be the latter of the two last night for his first performance at the Fillmore.

"You guys are the perfect energy to play our songs to. We just want to play them all," he said in the middle of the set.

With the release of debut Psychic Chasms in 2010 and its follow-up, Era Extrana, last year, Palomo's layered synths and keyboards helped define the "chillwave" genre. Starting off last night with slower tracks like "Hex Girlfriend" and "Fallout," Palomo shifted across the stage twisting knobs, dabbling on keyboards, and doing a dance best described as a sexy version of the cabbage patch, without the hand motions.

neon_indian_fillmore_2.jpg

The spacey transitions between songs, heavy distortion, and acid trip sounds were muddled and lost during Neon Indian's set at Coachella last weekend. I was much happier being able to look into Palomo's dark brown eyes and curly locks up close, without almost passing out from the extreme heat.

He didn't crack a single smile until introducing his live band five songs in. The pixie-haired Leanne Macomber on keyboards and synths, drummer Jason Faries, a guitarist switching off on bass for a few songs and another keyboard/synth combo all made a perfect soundscape for the Fillmore.

Live drums go a long way, as opener Lemonade demonstrated with their three-piece outfit of synths, drum machines, and vocals. Banging on drum pads with mallets and drum sticks just doesn't look or sound as cool as a drum set. I didn't catch Lemonade's entire set, which I now regret. The heavy bass I felt resonating from the soles of my shoes up to my temples left a lasting impression.

neon_indian_fillmore_3.jpg

Just before getting too mellow with blue and red stage lighting and too many slow songs, Neon Indian woke up the early week crowd with his dancefloor hits. The thick cloud of marijuana smoke hovering over the audience quickly dissolved after "Polish Girl." The song was seamlessly executed, with a bass player doling out some funk that was impossible not to dance to. Coming right after, "Deadbeat Summer" kept the energy up.

After declaring his love for our wonderful city and swearing it wasn't some "teleprompter bullshit," Palomo appropriately ended with "Should Have Taken Acid With You" around 11:15 p.m.

Critic's notebook: Some bands are best enjoyed in smaller venues. Neon Indian is definitely one of them.

----
Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, and like us at Facebook.com/SFAllShookDown.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Erika Maldonado

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"