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New York Cool - Music

Neon Trees
Hammerstein Ballroom
October 30, 2010

Written and Photographed
by Cindy Ord

 

 

 

In September, I had a chance meeting with the band Neon Trees. We had attended the same party on the roof of a chic Times Square Hotel. I noticed their matching plaid suits and cool haircuts, but had no idea who they were. As fate would have it, we all exited the party at the same time. In a tightly jammed elevator I struck up a conversation with Tyler Glenn, the lead singer of the band. He was very charming and had the most amazing smile. Our conversation continued into the lobby, where I suggested they come with my friend and I to another party downtown. Some decision making went on between the other members (Chris Allen, Elaine Bradley, & Branden Campbell) and they finally agreed to come along.


Neon Trees on Bus


As we left the hotel, I said to Tyler, "So, what do you guys do?" (being fashion week, I figured the possibilities were endless). "We are a band", he replied. I thought, "Cool" and we went on our way.

On the corner we all made our best attempt to catch a cab with not much success. A girlfriend of mine suggested we catch the city bus heading downtown. It appeared to be the only option since there wasn't a cab in sight. As we crossed the street, I asked "So, what's the name of your band?". The reply I received from Tyler was "Neon Trees" which led me to instantly have a huge internal "Ohhhhhh Noooooo!". (as I realized I had just abducted a very popular rock band and was about to take them onto a city bus).

We all piled onto the bus and took seats in the back. I was hoping we hadn't just ruined their night.(assuming a city bus was not their usual mode of transportation.) They were wonderful though, great conversation and lots of fun.

After about an hour, we decided we were never going to make it to our destination and decided to get off the bus. Still unable to catch a cab, we walked through the meat packing district and eventually decided to call it a night. As we exchanged information, I said "I hope we didn't ruin your night" which was met with a resounding "No! It was great!.... An adventure!" and big smiles all around.
Since then, thanks to facebook mostly, I have kept in touch here and there with the band. Also following their career and popularity.

In October, the opportunity came for me to see them in Orlando, FL at a downtown club called The Social, a small but great venue for bands. I jumped at the chance to see them live. From the moment they came onto the stage I was awestruck. The music was fantastic. Indy rock with an 80's feel. I walked away from that show hungry to see them live again.

As fate would have it (again).... about a week after the Orlando show, they were playing Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan. (The lineup included the Drums and DEVO.)

 


 

 

   


October 30th, I arrived very excited to see Neon Trees, this time in a larger venue. I had also heard great things about The Drums and of course DEVO are legendary. Was going to be a great show!

Unfortunately, while checking in, I was informed that it had become "a free show" due to DEVO canceling. (the guitar player cut his hand and the rest of their tour would also be canceled). DEVO was replaced with Fountains of Wayne (which, while still good... a VERY different show then DEVO)

Regardless, I was there to see Neon Trees so it didn't effect me either way.

The venue was about half full when I arrived. The crowd was very colorful with many decked out in Halloween costumes. The Drums went on first. They put on a fantastic show and the crowd responded well. But it was apparent that they were really more excited to see Neon Trees.



Between acts, the venue filled quickly and the room had a fantastic energy. Suddenly, one by one, the band members took the stage. Each one was dressed in full make up and wearing a skeleton costume. (with the most elaborate worn by guitarist Chris Allen, in a Day of the Dead style costume)

Suddenly, Tyler Glenn appeared and the audience erupted. He was absolutely electric! Not only did he have an incredible stage presence but a genuine ability to connect to the fans.

The band performed most of the songs from their hit album "Habits". Including "Animals", "1983", and "Love and Affection".... as well as the INXS hit "Never Tear Us Apart". (with nearly the entire audience singing along)

Start to finish, it was an amazing show. Not only musically, but on a personal note.... the same way they made me feel one on one- is how they made the entire audience at the Hammerstein Ballroom feel. Like you were a friend and they were excited to be there with you.

I honestly cant wait to see them again! (which, as fate would have it.... will be in Tampa, FL in December...stay tuned!)

http://www.myspace.com/neontrees


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