• Live Reviews
Alan Palomo

Neon Indian at Lincoln Hall on Oct.14, 2011

written by: on October 17, 2011

The undulating, chill wave had the crowd in a deep undertow of euphoria Friday night at Lincoln Hall, where Com Truise and Purity Ring opened for Neon Indian.

All three of the artists had a Back to the Future feel. The Electro-synth pop was dubbed and layered in 1980s-based sampling manipulated by MIDI keyboards and drum machines, while the misty, neon lights set the scene for a a potentially high-winded dance party.  However, for the crowd, shoulder to shoulder, bobbing their heads to the tremor of melodic dissonance was the best they could muster.

During Com Truise’s set, one person made a comparison between him and the unforgettable film, The Labyrinth, starring David Bowie. After the performance, Seth Haley (Com Truise) said, “I would say it is more Blade Runner meets Purple Rain.”

A man of few words, Haley has put 13 years into his career, which includes the graphic design of his albums, merchandise, artwork and his websites.

He is devoted to technology, music and design, and he revealed his talent on stage. He turned knobs simultaneously and erotically like a methodical mastermind.  Com Truise’s performance stole the spotlight. The florescent lights beamed over the crowd, and it was like riding shotgun in a Delorean, spinning about in a cadence of figure eights.

“Datebar” by Com Truise

The Texas-based four-piece is led by Alan Palomo, an artist whose career began with his solo project, VEGA. Neon Indian’s debut album, Psychic Chasms, was released in 2009 on Lefse Records. The band’s newest LP, Era Extraña, came out in September.

As a band, their sound (often compared with artists such as Baths and Braid) is compelling to witness live. Their stage presence is filled with energy, electricity, effulgence and a genuine connection to the crowd.

Each member owns a persona that is disarmingly eccentric and inviting. It was a mood that spread throughout the hall, fast and deliriously, much like a bone-rattling wave that thawed out any chance of chill.

They settled right in to the Chicago scene and said at the end of their set, “We really love Chicago; we love this city.” The crowd felt the same back, reeling and reveling in the unforgettable performances of the night.

“6699 (I Don’t Know If You Know)” by Neon Indian