Neon Indian + Computer Magic @ Fairmount Theatre – 29th January 2016

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Mid-December to mid-January is the worst time for gig-goers. All the bands seem to be on holiday (how dare they!!), and it’s slim pickings for a few weeks. How grateful we are then, when the gig machine starts up again! Maybe that explains the fact that tonight’s Neon Indian show has “Sold Out” signs all over the front doors; Montrealers just couldn’t wait to get out of the house!


First up, though, Computer Magic take to the stage tasked with warming up the crowd tonight. A 2-piece from Brooklyn (well, technically a solo-project, American producer Danielle “Danz” Johnson) consisting of drums and keyboards, musically they sound a lot like old Le Tigre crossed with modern Ladytron. Danz patrols the stage kind of like Karen O, clad in Mom jeans, and the audience, whilst a little subdued, seems to enjoy the set, as indicated by a number of nodding heads. The set closer consists of a church organ over a dance-y drum beat, layered over a rumbling bass line, with lyrics that seem to render Danz quite emotional (no idea what she was saying, though). The song builds to a crescendo in which the drummer seems to club the drums twice as hard, then the whole thing slowly fades away. A good set, and a band worth investigating further.


Supporting their third album, 2015’s VEGA INTL. Night School, Alan Palomo, aka Neon Indian, and his band bound onto the stage at 11:10, for the first time in 3 years here, at the exact same venue as last time around, and tonight’s 500 lucky ticket holders are immediately enthralled. Alan busts out the dance moves, and doesn’t put them away for the entire 65-minute set, despite the rising temperatures inside the packed Fairmount Theatre. With such energy, the audience responds in kind, and the party begins almost immediately.


The faux electro reggae bests of Annie are greeted with rapturous enthusiasm 2 songs in, and Alan can’t help but praise the party ethic of Montreal, going so far as to say it’s better than New Yorks! High praise indeed. C’est La Vie is warmly received, surely due in part to the Frenchness of that title! Slumlord beings with a 30-60 second hum, then accelerates into a beat and finally the party anthem it has become, and still Alan dances, drenched in perspiration but continuing unabated.


Prior to introducing Deadbeat Summer, he proclaims that he doesn’t believe in encores and proposes they keep playing to continue our “symbiotic relationship,” to which the crowd roars in agreement! After finishing the song, he and the band then proceed to leave the stage, before returning for an encore. Confused? Yes, so were we. Still, nobody complained, especially when this return to the stage is accompanied by a metronomic drum beat, which then mutates into the unmistakable intro to Polish Girl, arguably Neon Indians signature tune, and best received song of the night. Anyone with an ounce of energy left expends it at this point. Prior to last song News From The Sun, Alan reminds us of how incredible we’ve been, and hopes it isn’t another 3 years before they come back. After tonight’s carnival, so do we!


Set list
Dear Skorpio Magazine
The Glitzy Hive
Terminally Chill
Street Level
61 Cygni Ave
C’est La Vie (Say the Casualties!)
Mind, Drips
Baby Eyes
Deadbeat Summer

Polish Girl
News From The Sun

Review & photos – Simon Williams

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