October 30, 2010
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
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