The Metro – Chicago, IL
Neon Indian is Alan Polomo’s baby, his crazy acid tripped out Member’s Only jacket wearing infant. His sound has a bit of 80’s aesthetic; electronic dance music with filtered vocals. Polomo’s song composition is seamless and chaotic, he can craft beets, string, loops, and bleeps together that’s reminiscent to a collage. Polomo has three bandmates helping him interpret his music for live performances; Jason Faries, drums; Leanne Macomber, keyboards; and Ronalds Gierhart, Guitars. Each providing their own entertainment for the audiences.Between playing the keyboards and the tambourine Leanne was the person engaging the audience. The only member on stage who’s face wasn’t hiding behind a curtain of hair she became the band’s avatar.Jason’s drums sat on top of a platform behind the band, his long straight hair draped over his scarcely seen face, his long slender arms pounding down on to the rhythm section. The light projected from the back of the venue hit the back of the stage, shapes and images of light hitting his form first. The audience took great pleasure (those close enough to the projector) in making shadow puppets throughout the entire set, epic battles between rabbits and giant pacmen. Not only was he master of the songs but sitting behind and high above the band he seemed to be the ominous master of all.
Ronald on guitars was the most exciting for me to watch. Adding a bit of the rock and roll feel to the set with a bit of shred and a couple guitar solos dispensed throughout the set. The dude knew how to play well and balanced his skills with a bit of showiness, a third into the set he steps out of the limelight and returns with a guitar that would have made a suburban deadhead cream himself; the guitar flickered on to vibrant colors on an LCD screen placed in the body of the guitar.
Now onto Alan Polomo and his onstage performance, the man IS an amazingly talented musician and that was evident on stage. The performance was fun to watch; as he switched from one synthesizer/keyboard to another multiple times during a song, doing 180o jumps that were always perfectly timed. His concentration on making the music happen just right kept him in trance on stage rarely ever having a free moment to assess the audience. What was most impressive was how he was able to competently play the Theremin onstage. The Theremin is one of the rare instruments you see onstage, mostly because of the complex and unpredictable nature of its sounds. Two metal wires on two ends of a box that makes music by reacting to Polomo’s hand/finger movements, he was proficient and skilled. Polomo’s vocal performance was a bit dramatic, his swaying head gestures and his jerking hips seemed like he was attempting to seduce the audience, which he successfully did. He got the audience to dance and groove right along with him, which is best form of affirmation for an artist onstage. My only criticism with the set was Polomo’s impersonal presence on stage, for a man trying to seduce the audience he never once looked at us, he was fixed on the back wall of the venue, it might have come off as a bit detached but I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and blame it on awkward stage fright. He had a lot on his plate; through the numerous things he had to do onstage to make us dance he succeeded in impressing my skeptic nature.