Neon Indian Live at the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, New York on December 17th, 2009

(photo by Rez Avissar)

Neon Indian’s Deadbeat Summer became my anthem back in April, when VEGA’s Alan Palomo hadn’t publicly revealed his new project. Fast-forward eight months, and now “glo-fi” is a mock genre, one that characterizes the soft lo-fi synth pop that is Neon Indian (and Washed Out). Neon Indian’s “Psychic Chasms”is perfect for a hazy summer day at the beach, but would it hold up in a live performance? I suspected the answer would be no, and this was glaringly obvious at Neon Indian’s show at Brooklyn Bowl.

Brooklyn Bowl is certainly one of the most interesting spaces for a concert. With a menu by Blue Ribbon and bowling lanes, Brooklyn Bowl seems like it belongs in Manhattan. Even if you went to the Bowl for just the food and bowling, you would have to pay the cover for the concert. That said, it seemed like most people at the Bowl were there for Neon Indian. But, that didn’t stop them from eating delicious fried chicken and bowling loudly during the opening acts.

Before Neon Indian hit the stage, Awesome New Republic and Tigercity warmed up the crowd for what felt like an eternity. So, by the time Neon Indian started their set, I was ecstatic. I think Alan Palomo realized that Neon Indian would be pretty boring to watch if it were just him, so I appreciated that he added a real drummer, guitarist, and keyboardist. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to stop the show from being a bit of a snoozefest, and it suspiciously sounded like the band was playing to backing tracks. Since Brooklyn Bowl’s stage comes equipped with a huge screen, I would have liked a camera feed on whatever Palomo was doing. Instead, the screen was used for the visuals that were created specifically to accompany Neon Indian’s live show. Another factor could have been that I never really felt like I was at an actual nighttime concert. The bowling lanes (and giant TV screens) were distracting, and the place never seemed dark enough. After Neon Indian performed “Terminally Chill,” which was performed near the beginning of the set, I lost interest.

I love Neon Indian, but next time I’ll skip the live show and just listen to the record at home.

Jan 8 @ Barsona – Brisbane, Australia
Jan 9 @ Sandcastle Festival – Melbourne, Australia
Jan 10 @ Days Like This Festival – Sydney, Australia
Jan 15 @ Schubas Tavern – Chicago, IL
Jan 30 @ Hailey’s – Denton, TX
Feb 2 @ E&L Auditorium – New York, NY
Feb 11 @ Great Scott – Allston, MA
Mar 26 @ Mezzanine – San Francisco, CA
May 31 @ Sasquatch Festival – Quincy, MA

– Mimi Kim


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