Neon Trees Demands Attention In Minneapolis

Neon Trees. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

Last updated on October 18th, 2023 at 12:38 pm

Neon Trees returned to Minneapolis for the first time since 2015 with their Favorite Daze tour. Topping the charts in the 2010s, the Las Vegas-based group helped define alternative rock with hits like “Animal” and “Everybody Talks.” Their Wednesday night performance at Varsity Theater made a strong case for why music fans should still be paying attention to the group. 

Neon Trees. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

As a high schooler, Neon Trees was one of the bands that captured my heart. Lead vocalist Tyler Glenn had an iconic energy mixed with a bold voice. Their first three albums were in constant rotation for me, and Glenn’s 2016 solo album remains one of my favorite records of all time. 

Neon Trees. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

This was my third time seeing them, with the last being their 2015 show at the same venue. As Glenn and company took the stage, it felt like they never left. 

“I want to make sure everyone gets what they paid for,” Glenn screamed. “I am almost 40, wearing a sparkly suit, and I blew out my knee. Let’s go!” 

Neon Trees. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

Igniting the crowd, Glenn demanded everyone’s attention as the band ripped through their catalog of hit songs and brand-new alternative gems. A particularly front-loaded set, they fired through some of their best songs right off the bat. 

Neon Trees. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

The last third of the show featured newer songs from their underrated 2020 album I Can Feel You Forgetting Me. Songs like “Nights,” “Used to Like,” and “New Best Friend” kept the fans singing along throughout. Additionally, brand-new songs like “Losing My Head” and “Favorite Daze” were incredible in a live setting.

Neon Trees. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

What makes Neon Trees so great is their raw energy, chemistry among all the members, and expert vocals. Glenn sounded studio-perfect all night, and I would argue he is one of the most underrated vocalists of the last decade. 

Along for the ride were opening acts Silent Rival and Laundry Day

Silent Rival. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

From California, Silent Rival brought a youthful energy to the stage. Clad in a Taylor Swift-style jumper, the lead singer had a very strong presence. Additionally, the group interacted well with the audience, with the bass player often jumping into the crowd. 

Laundry Day. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

Laundry Day began with a lot of fanfare. The group clearly has a strong Minneapolis following as fans chanted their name before they hit the stage. 

Laundry Day. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

Dressed in school uniforms, they reminded me of the bands from the movies Sing Street and School of Rock. All members recently turned 21 years old, and the group’s youthful energy was very fun to watch. They stand as one of the best supporting acts I’ve seen this year. 

Neon Trees. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

Overall, I had a blast at Neon Trees. Even with a seasonal cold going around, I still pushed myself to get out to this show. Tyler Glenn’s vocals have captivated me since 2010. With their powerful performance at Varsity Theater, the band is demanding the scene’s attention. 

If you’re not listening to Neon Trees in 2023, you’re missing out. They have been defining alternative rock since 2010 and are continuing to do so with each release. 

Written by Dylan Novacek

Photographer, graphic designer, and multimedia storyteller from St. Paul. Most likely listening to CHVRCHES, Of Monsters and Men or Fall Out Boy. Once featured in the New York Times for using the bathroom during Avengers: Endgame.


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