Story/Photos: Rachael Alvine
Spent an hour last night standing in the freezing cold on University Avenue for a NEON TREES concert to start. The show had “sold out” in under ten minutes, with over 8,000 people crashing the server trying to get tickets to the two Friday night shows in Provo.NEON TREES was set to play Wednesday, Jan 23rd at Park City Live but due to confusion linked to disagreements over ticket price, the band conceded to cancel the show. Not wanting to disappoint their loyal Utah fans, the band contacted Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo who immediately offered to host the band for three special shows that the band wanted to be more “intimate” for their original fan-base.
Velour is a beautiful venue and perfect for this special concert. You should check it out if you’re ever in Utah County (cough cough). The capacity crowd waited in darkness for NEON TREES to take the stage while spacing out to some Vangelis. The energy was just amazing and I had a front row sweet spot.
The lights go crazy, there’s fog… the band takes the stage and starts playing “Moving in the Dark” with Tyler Glenn in some fierce silver lame pants topped with an Elvis-like jacket. It was unbelievable. Everyone was clapping, singing. This is my new favorite song…for the moment.
The band played several songs from their recent release PICTURE SHOW including “Mad Love” and one of my other personal favorites, “Lessons in Love”, at which point Tyler started taking some of his clothes off (wink wink). Believe me it was an amazing performance of a radass song. (Yeah that’s a word.) Tyler definitely knows how to dance. And I definitely got schooled.
The crowd went insane over “1983” which is a song written about the year he was born, the vocalist explained. More from their album HABITS included “Love and Affection” and their break-out hit “Animal” which I have amazing, rare video footage of…and someday I will upload for your enjoyments.
The Provo City Mayor showed up and presented an official award to NEON TREES for representing the city and community in such an amazing way to a national audience. The band’s drummer and backup vocalist, Elaine Bradley, jokingly admitted that for a minute she thought they were getting a key to the city….at which point, Tyler called her out for being “greedy”. Everyone loved how honest and down-to-earth the band was the whole night. It was super cool.
Tyler apologized for the band to all of the fans who had to miss their show due to the ticket mix-up, but said he was truly honored to be playing on Velour’s stage again. The band is definitely grateful for their Provo roots. He then played an amazing song, just voice and piano, which I had never heard before but might be called “Surrender”….it was beautiful. And I have video footage of that too.
Now for the good part. Tyler came over to my corner of the stage, looked deep into my eyes, grabbed my hand and then started singing “Don’t You Want Me” and I was singing and screaming “YES!”…along with everyone else. So much fun. Oh my God.
Tyler also explained to his fans that despite silly rumors, he is in fact not homosexual. He’s sad that people judge him for his absolutely fabulous glam-rock fashion sense and would like everyone to know that “there’s nothing inherently gay about fabric”…just sayin.
NEON TREES closed their set with their chart-topping “Everybody Talks” and it was everything I had ever hoped it could be...and more. Everyone left happy. And yes, I did geek out and get a band tee.
I can’t wait to see what these guys do next…