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Neon Trees Make Fans Bare Their Claws in Albuquerque

Neon Trees
Neon Trees

Launchpad was packed Monday for a modern rock line-up that was upbeat and somber, chaotic and ordered, punk, pop, emo, and alternative all rolled into one hot evening.

Live concert photo of Neon Trees in Albuquerque, NM
Donna Kent

The show began with Me Talk Pretty, featuring singer Julia Preotu, who told the crowd a sweet story about her days as a young girl in Romania watching MTV and dreaming of being a star. Her star power shined in her performance of Wake Up!, a song that earned the band best freshman video on mtvU last month.

Paper Tongues
followed with their unique mixture of rock and hip-hop, bringing the sultry moves and funky bass lines of Danny Santell with the vivacious vocals and dancing of Aswan North. They also engaged the fans--Santell giving sultry looks, and his hat, to hotties in the front row, and North jumping the barrier into the crowd. North busted some sweet dance moves, that if I squinted and tilted my head just right, made me wonder if he was channeling Michael Jackson. Weird.

The energy was interrupted a bit by the next band, but Civil Twilight definitely did not disappoint. The highlight of their set was lead singer Steven McKellar putting down his guitar and sitting at the keyboard to perform Letters From The Sky. The somber, deeply emotional song silenced the crowd; so much so that you could hear two girls sobbing uncontrollably during a pause. Now that's emo.

The headliners, Neon Trees, took the stage with a petulant tirade from singer Tyler Glenn about poor sound quality on the stage. He ranted about not being able to hear himself in the monitors, and complained that the poor sound conditions would make the crowd think he has no talent. "But I DO," insisted Glenn. As it turns out, Glenn had nothing to worry about. He sounded great and put on a killer show. With his punk rock persona and style ranging from pulsing dance beats to gritty punk, Glenn led his band through a set that built up to the hit everyone was waiting for, Animals. Glenn made fans show their claws and growl for him, before performing this song with absolute perfection. I actually got the chills seeing this song performed live. It was awesome.

Did you attend this show? What did you think? Did Neon Trees sound good? Does Tyler Glenn have talent? Enter your comments below.


  • Phyllis 4 years ago

    Civil Twilight will perform on Thursday at The Met in Providence. I'll try to make it.

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