Home / A&E / 2013 Summerfest Guide / Neon Trees
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Neon Trees

Saturday, July 6 @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, 10 p.m.

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Neon Trees’ international breakthrough came a few years after the furor over the neo-new wave revival that saw The Killers and The Bravery vying for the honors of who wore their mascara prettier and who made the catchier dance-oriented rock singles. But if being a relatively consistent pop radio presence trumps Pitchfork column inches, Neon Trees win out over the more buzzed-about bands that might have been their direct competition. While those other acts that plowed roughly the same sonic terrain have since refined or meandered from the late ’70s/early ’80s sound that initially brought them acclaim, Neon Trees continue to mine from the same pallet of influences—to continued hooky effect.

A mishmash of retro sartorial choices—especially as worn by lead singer Tyler Glenn—abets the band’s nostalgic impulse seen in videos for songs such as that aforementioned breakthrough, "Animal," "Everybody Talks" and "Lessons In Love." Of course, having commercial alt rock’s highest profile and most eye-catching distaff drummer since Meg White in Elaine Bradley pounding the skins in metronome precision for her mates’ exercises in sharp, emotionally effusive, club-ready earworms helps as well. We’re guessing their Summerfest audience probably won’t be able to help but move too. (Jamie Lee Rake)