Neon Indian + Wake Island @ Fairmount Theatre – 10th October 2016

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Perhaps its the Thanksgiving turkey thats to blame. Last time Neon Indian were here at Theatre Fairmount just 10 months ago, it was a sold out affair, packed to the rafters, but tonight, at the same venue, with the same Headliner, its barely half full upon arrival. One look at the setlist as its laid down on the stage also shows that the set is exactly the same as last time (the same songs, and in the same order!), but with a couple of cover`s thrown in. Initial suggestions are that this could be a little disappointing after the epic party of last January.


First up though, are local outfit Wake Island, who kicks things off in near darkness (save for a few red stage lights as a backdrop) on a smokey stage with a set of rumbling electro that reminds of Hot Chip’s clubbier moments. The few in attendance enjoy what they hear, as heads bounce politely across the room.


As Alan Palomo aka Neon Indian take to the stage, the venue has filled up nicely (though certainly nowhere close to sold out) – maybe people did snap out of their Turkey stupor after all! The funk-driven Dear Skorpio Magazine kicks things off, maintaining the smokey dark stage them of the night so far, and Alan beings to unleash his repertoire of dance moves. The crowd cheers and dances accordingly, before the brilliant Annie takes things up a notch. Whilst nowhere near as raucous as last time, the crowd response is still impressive. It reminds of night 1 vs night 2 of the Brand New double-header this summer – the same band, but totally different crowds, and a totally different experience. Tonight, the thinner-but-still-sizeable crowd is contributing to enjoying the music itself a lot more than last time, without worrying when the next sweaty inebriated jock will bump you.


After The Glitzy Hive and its trademark band introductions, Alan acknowledges “I understand its Canadian Thanksgiving! Thanks for taking time away from family and loved ones to enjoy a feast of a different kind!” He incites a mass wave-along on Street Level, then jokes about the benefits of a small room – you can see everyone who didn’t join in! More crowd dancing ensues on 61 Cygni Ave. The beats of C’est La Vie (Say The Casualties!) reminds of Murray Head’s One Night In Bangkok, and the crowd bounces along again, before Mind, Drips lets every catch their breath. Not for long though, as Slumlord reignites the crowd with its intro of synth keys booting into a Reflektor-like drum-beat and another clap-along erupts.


Baby’s Eyes is a lot more memorable this time around too, with the bass guitar incredibly distorted to sound like synth keys, and its moodiness fits well with the dark smokey vibe on stage. The main set closes with a bassy, funked up cover of Cool Cat by Queen, and then of course, the classic Deadbeat Summer, to another chorus of OHHHHHH’s!
They return to the stage to a frantic chant of “ALAN, ALAN, ALAN,” to which Alan replies “YOU GUYS, YOU GUYS, YOU GUYS!!!” Signature tune Polish Girl is followed by a cover of Prince’s Pop Life, before Alan thanks us one more time with the words “you’ve been amazing, I can’t stress that enough… you could have been anywhere else!” News From The Sun wraps up the encore after a brilliant 75-minute set.


Initial concerns of a lazy re-run of the last show (but with a smaller crowd) were completely unfounded – consensus after the show was that this was even better than last time. Slightly less of a carnival, sure, but unquestionably more of a concert. A brilliant night.

1. Dear Skorpio Magazine
2. Annie
3. The Glitzy Hive
4. Terminally Chill
5. Street Level
6. 61 Cygni Ave
7. C’est La Vie (Say The Casualties!)
8. Mind, Drips
9. Slumlord
10. Slumlord’s Re-lease
11. Baby’s Eyes
12. Cool Cat (Queen cover)
13. Deadbeat Summer

14. Polish Girl
15. Pop Life (Prince cover)
16. News from the Sun

Review & photos – Simon Williams

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