Concert Reviews

Neon Indian Made a Buzzworthy Return to Dallas Last Night at The Bomb Factory

Neon Indian
With the Outfit, TX and Roger Sellers
The Bomb Factory, Dallas
Thursday, October 1, 2015

If a little time was all Alan Palomo and the newest incarnation of Neon Indian needed to execute last night’s performance at The Bomb Factory, then so be it. Early on, the former Denton resident pointed out that is has been years since he’s played that city. He was surprised to see such a large crowd on hand for this performance in Dallas, and couldn’t help feeling a little nostalgic about being back on stage in North Texas. However, it's safe to say that the nostalgia wore off quickly.

Palomo and company rattled off three new songs from their soon-to-be released LP VEGA INTL. Night School, the first Neon Indian album in four years. While several years ago Palomo's act was the epitome of chillwave, joining the ranks of Toro Y Moi and Washed Out, the new album is a step toward '80s-inspired dance rhythms and sampling as far-reaching as psychedelia and cumbia, both of which can be heard on one of the early-released tracks, “Annie.”

The upbeat tracks were enough to get the massive room moving, but what really put the show into high gear was Palomo’s falsetto — it was a dominant presence on a majority of the new material he and the band performed Thursday. The falsetto paired well with Palomo's enthusiasm on stage, which was contagious. Even during moments of instrumentation, he danced along with the music, and his charming ways had the crowd following suit.

The band did stray from new material to cover crowd favorites such as “Terminally Chill,” “Deadbeat Summer” and “Polish Girl” before closing out the night with a final cut from the new album, “News From the Sun.”

Going into last night’s show, much of the crowd at The Bomb Factory was probably unsure what to expect, given Neon Indian's relative absence from the music scene recently. Even on a national scale, it’s hard to gauge whether the new album is highly anticipated or not. But Neon Indian's charming and infectious performance last night indicates that their current touring schedule coupled with the upcoming release of VEGA INTL. Night School have them on track to regain the buzz they had in 2011.

Palomo was there to party, and he was working with a great crowd, warmed up by the playground-like setting in The Bomb Factory provided by Red Bull Sound Select co-collaborators Fun Fun Fun Fest and Central Track. The setup included a Polaroid photo booth, video game stations, air-brushed T-shirts and pop-a-shot basketball hoops. Topping out the bill were openers Roger Sellers and the Outfit, TX.

DOMA-nominated trio the Outfit, TX gave a noteworthy performance of their own. Their set was tight and well-prepared in a way that's uncommon for hip-hop acts either locally or nationally. Mel Kyle, JayHawk Walker and Dorian Terrell each bring a presence to the stage that is both eye-catching and motivating. So much so that by the middle of the set, a full-on mosh pit had sprung up in the middle of the venue, and Kyle only egged it on further.

The group led the crowd through a sampling of their upcoming album Down by the Trinity, and it left guys in the audience both wondering who took their girl and questioning the status quo of today’s social climate. In retrospect, the pairing of the Outfit, TX and Neon Indian made for a jarring experience, especially when the Outfit's aesthetic is so deeply entrenched in Southern pride they could make Master P and Bun B blush.