Tyler Glenn is a rock star, and a legend in the making.
Glenn brought his blazing hot band, Neon Trees, back to Orlando’s House of Blues this weekend and they put on one hell of a show. With his magnificent voice, non-stop energy, peroxide-white hair and engaging personality, the flamboyant front man had the crowd in his hands the entire night, and absolutely blew away the packed house. He absolutely reeks of charisma, and has quickly become one of the most dynamic front men on the rock music scene. He exhibited traits that at times reminded me of Bowie, George Michael and Iggy Pop. Hard to pigeon hole Glenn’s style, but it is without a doubt something fresh and special.
Hailing from Provo, Utah, Neon Trees is riding a huge wave of popularity associated with the enormous success of their hit current single “Everybody Talks.” Their new album, Picture Show, is a strong release, and a nice follow-up to their excellent 2010 debut, Habits, but it doesn’t do justice to the sound of the band live. Glenn and his band mates are talented musicians and passionate show men (drummer Elaine Bradley is out after giving birth to her first child).
Their set was focused on the latest release, including the first two songs of the set which were also the first two songs off of Picture Show, “Moving in the Dark” and “Teenage Sounds.” Right from the start, we were treated to Glenn flying around the stage, vamping for the crowd and belting out pristine vocals. He interacted with the crowd all night and constantly held their rapt attention in the packed venue. Chris Allen on guitar and bassist Branden Campbell were overshadowed by the performance of Glenn, but were strong in their own right.
As the set progressed, we got to hear a handful of tracks off of the band’s superb debut album, including “Sins of My Youth,” and “Love and Affection,” as well as a nice extended version of “1983” which started with some fun dialogue between Glenn and the rollicking crowd and included a quick snippet of “Hand Jive.” Campbell’s bass dominated the song. It was followed shortly afterwards by the stark “Your Surrender” which Glenn played seated at his keyboard alone on stage. It was a well deserved respite for the magnetic front man who was drenched in sweat from his constant dashes around the stage and his powerful vocals. We also got a deeper look into Glenn’s roots, as he reflected on the decade long struggle to breakthrough and his revitalized relationship with his father.
Off of the new album, there were a few gems, including “Lessons in Love” and “I am the DJ,” which kicked off the encore. “Mad Love” which typically includes vocals from the absent Bradley, was the only part of the show that didn’t really work. The band brought out a young woman to sing the female part, but she clearly didn’t know the words. It was a bit forced and unusual, considering there were about a thousand other females in the crowd singing every word to every song.
“Animal” the band’s first hit off of Habits closed the set and ratcheted the audience into near frenzy. The crowd sang along throughout and had the house rocking. They pulled the band out for their encore “I Am the DJ,” and the crowd pleasing finale of “Everybody Talks.” It was the perfect end to a great show.
Twenty One Pilots and Walk the Moon (read the review here) put on engaging opening sets that had the crowd amped for the main event, and Neon Trees just kicked it up another notch.
Check out our Photos from the show on our Neon Trees Facebook album – and Like us while you’re there 🙂
(Check out the setlist below)
Moving in the Dark
Sins of My Youth
Lessons in Love
Love and Affection
In the Next Room
I am the DJ