Emerging from the hazy smoke and fog, my ears were ringing with digital noise erupting from all sorts of machines on Neon Indian’s stage. Standing in the sweaty sold out Echoplex, I realized it has been almost three years since I last saw the band—Monolith Music Festival at Red Rocks in 2009—which incidentally was their first ever show. What a difference a few years of touring and creating cosmic, buzzing material can do to give you on-stage confidence.
Their debut at Monolith was punctuated by spots of brilliant melody but mostly frontman, Alan Palomo hunkered down at his digital boxes to give us sound and walloping noise. Fast forward to 2012 there is still noise, but with more cohesion. Musical wunderkind, Palomo has channeled his dancing to the tune of swirling sounds of brilliant loud electronic melodies. This show was their break between the two Coachella dates and they said that they played longer than before despite the epic heat swamp that was the Echoplex.
Crowd favorites such as “Polish Girl,” “6699” and “Deadbeat Summer” were turned up to “an 11” producing a boogie-the-boogie of whurlizer of electronic fuzz. The band was pretty efficient in getting through their set with maximum punch while most songs had Palomo waltzing between his front facing keyboard and his standing synths and effects rays. I’d say it was a nice Coachella break for the L.A. fans who got to experience the cosmic 80’s arcade jams of Neon Indian in a much more intimate venue than Coachella.
The show openers, Friends, from Brooklyn gave the audience a preview of their stomping style to be found on their upcoming release Manifest! due in June. If the reaction said anything, they have real potential in 2012 to be someone to watch. Also a fiery opening act, were the French Housse De Racket. They had the crowd bursting into a frenzy with their steamy beats. It was an electrifying line-up altogether with three worthy performers.
Show Review & Photography: Alex King