When the Utah-based, pop-rock band Neon Trees took the stage in Columbus, the crowd was ready to go.
In a 20-song, 1 ½ hour set (give or take on both quantities) Monday night at Newport Music Hall, Neon Trees played off the energy of the crowd. The band even went a little further than a classic “O-H-I-O” shoutout to don Ohio State hats for the occasion.
And the energy started from the beginning.
When Neon Trees took the stage, all of the lights in the venue dimmed. Spotlights then shone on a white cloth that was draped in front of the stage. Neon Trees played half of its first song, “Lessons in Love,” behind the cloth before it was dropped to reveal a multi-leveled set, which included stairs, LED screens and many bright, colorful lights.
Throughout the show, the band mixed some of its previous hit songs, such as “Animal,” with songs off the latest album, “Pop Psychology.” And the crowd made it clear — by enthusiastic dancing and clapping — that they loved the old hits just as well as the new ones.
The fans couldn’t get enough as they jumped up and down and sang the lyrics to all of Neon Trees’ songs. The lead singer and keyboardist of Neon Trees, Tyler Glenn, fell into the crowd of hands to crowd-surf in the middle of the song, “Sleeping with a Friend.” The fans went wild as they passed him around.
It was difficult to pick out the highlights of the night. However, Neon Trees dazzled when the band opened up with songs that had lyrics about darker times. You could feel the crowd connecting to the meaning of the music.
The fans also seemed to draw inspiration from the song, “First Things First,” which was part of the band’s encore performance. It talks about finding your path in life and chasing your dreams to, as the lyrics state, “get what you deserve.”
Neon Trees also saved the crowd-surfing “Sleeping With A Friend” for the encore. During both songs, a giant pink inflatable brain was sitting at the top of the stage for an unexpected visual twist.
The greatest part about Neon Trees’ show, though, was that the band sounded just as good live, as it does on the radio.
And the message of the band — encouraging everyone to just be themselves — remained strong. Glenn told The Lantern in a previous interview, “Remember that we all go through dark times, but there is a lot of color in life as well.”
Color is exactly what Neon Trees showed through its stage presence and vibrant performance.