|Alan Palomo of Neon Indian.|
Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios
September 9, 2009
Better than: the hype? Keep reading.
So, the big question: Did Neon Indian live up to all the hype? Or, maybe better yet: Could Neon Indian live up to all the hype?
Well, from the perspective of a local, friend-heavy crowd at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios last night: Yes.
Still, more questions abound after the first night. In the past, Palomo has spoken about his reasons for debuting his projects in Denton, as opposed to Austin, Brooklyn, or elsewhere. But, will the band's performance at Monolith this weekend, without all the advantages of a home-field (like, say, Matthew Barnhart running sound) live up to all the hype? Maybe.
The band, according to drummer Jason Faries, only yesterday played through all of the group's material together for the first time, and still has two more shows to iron out all the kinks before taking the stage in Colorado.
Wait--there were kinks?
Well, for starters, remember how all of VEGA's gear got stolen? New equipment, I've heard, takes a while to work all the gremlins out. And, again according to Faries and Alan Palomo, Ronald Gierhart isn't going on the upcoming tour tour with the band. Instead, Leanne Macomber (of Fight Bite, Rival Gang) will be stepping in on guitar, vocals, key and knobs.
New material/equipment/members or not, and a few technical difficulties aside, Neon Indian played a captivating set last night to a packed house that was more than forgiving--and ended up screaming for more.
See, by the time Neon Indian finished sound checking and started its set, it was nearly 1 a.m. (the bill's first performer on this bill of three acts, Kashioboy, didn't begin his set until after 11 p.m.). Tough to say the crowd minded, though; as the band performed, many members in the crowd of 225 people (impressive for a weekenight) sang along to the band's not-as-yet-officially released material. But it was all pretty short-lived: Upon getting warned that the band was running up against closing time, Palomo, Faries and Macomber played another song and told the crowd they were done.
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So maybe the late start time, techinical difficulties and all that ended up working out in the band's favor--when the performance came to an end, it was clear that this audience still wanted more Neon Indian.
Persona Bias: Yes.
Random Note: I got some slices and beer at J & J's before driving over to Rubber Gloves. There, a guy walked in and asked Denton musician Daniel Folmer, who also happened to be there, what time Neon Indian was supposed to play. Folmer kindly told him he was at the wrong place--but, clearly, the date and venue changes made for this debut confused a few people.