As I waited outside the Firebird and tried not to deteriorate into a sweating mess, feeling the heatwave was a nice reminder that the summer concert months are cranking into full gear and the Neon Indian / Asobi Seksu was a fine one to kick it off with.
Local act Neé, with frontwoman Kristin Dennis, opened the evening, surprisingly making it the third time I’ve shot her in span of less than three months. I certainly don’t mind, considering that her Hands of Thieves EP continues to get a fair amount of replay on my iPhone, with the “Florence and the Machine fronting Matt & Kim” descriptor being the best I’ve come across so far. Dennis is slowly making a name for herself locally, with the crowd dancers increasing in number with each show, but one knock would be the technical problems that popped up again.
Photo notes: While Kristin holds photogenic poses, I really avoided retaking those same shots, opting instead for more off-kilter angles and her post-song responses.
Polyvinyl’s Asobi Seksu joined up with Neon Indian for the St. Louis stop, overcoming a missed sound check (depriving us of singer Yuki Chikudate’s voice for the first few songs) to deliver a blistering selection of shoegaze pop. Being my first experience to the band, I was surprised at how they maintained such a high intensity without compromising the pop element. Sign me up for the fan club, I’m down with Asobi Seksu. New York, thanks for letting us borrow them for an evening.
Photo notes: Even with the light boxes, the stage was still dark enough to keep the primes on. Thankfully, the tease of an all-red light set turned out to be false after the first song.
Fast forwarding through a meticulous stage setup, the lights cut out and the crowd howled as Neon Indian took the stage. I’ve listened through Psychic Chasms and liked it fair enough, but hearing cuts like the title track and “6669 (I don’t know if you know)” replicated live with a wave of hands in the air and bobbing bodies really took things to another level. Not content to just be a wallflower hidden behind a wall of electronics, Alan Palomo was quite endearing as he danced along while softly serenading along. Dude also plays a mean Theremin.
Photo notes: With all of the electronics (especially the Theremin) cutting off shooting angles, there were really only two locations to get clear and unobstructed views of Palomo. If you want a shot of Palomo singing, dead center (between the Theremin and left keyboard) is your best option. If you want him operating the Theremin or electronics, try getting yourself center-right.
The Administrative Stuff: