San Francisco has always had a soft spot for the Neon Trees so it was no surprise when their “An Intimate Night Out With Neon Trees” sold out San Francisco’s Fillmore. As frontman Tyler Glenn explained to the crowd during a break between songs, the band wasn’t working on an album and got bored, hence the concept was born. But to be clear, the term “intimate” didn’t only refer to the size of the venue; the fans crowded the front of the stage and Glenn was happy to wax between songs in storyteller fashion.
The hour and 20 minute set kicked off with Songs I Can’t Listen To and the lights a-blazing while Tyler spun across the stage, working those Doc Martin boots like a pair of toe shoes as the crowd sang along. Between the dance moves and the on-point vocals, it was easy to forget that there was a whole band up there holding it all together while they gave Glenn room to move. But every once in a while you’d hear something, such as Elaine Bradley’s vocals, that would draw your attention elsewhere on the stage and make you appreciate the collective talent unfolding.
The setlist spanned the catalog and made sure to include the hits with Animal following 1983 early in the set before Tyler paused to dedicated Mad Love to the audience. The main portion of the set wrapped up with Glenn hopping down to the barricade for a crowd sing-along on Sleeping With a Friend and a brief crowd surf.
After a short break (barely enough for the lighting guy to change his pants … not sure why) Neon Trees returned to the stage at which point Tyler informed the crowd that they were going to play two more songs, but to not to leave after the first one (Everybody Talks) … as if anyone planned to skip out on a cover of Dexys Midnight Runners’ Come On Eileen and that nifty show poster.
These are the kind of shows that the Fillmore is perfectly suited for … a larger-than-life band on a tiny stage with great sound and a wild light show. If you’re a fan, it’s hard to imagine it getting any better than this.
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