Photos and Review by Jennie Book
San Francisco’s storied Fillmore witnessed an eruption of fun energy on September 15, 2023, as Neon Trees took center stage to inaugurate their highly anticipated “Favorite Daze Tour.” Known for their catchy pop hooks and electric live performances, Neon Trees arrived in the Bay Area ready to light the stage on fire.
Hailing from musically rich Provo, Utah, Neon Trees have been a big presence in the alternative rock landscape since their beginnings in 2005. The band’s magnetic lineup is comprised of frontman Tyler Glenn, whose charisma and pipes go on for days, Chris Allen on guitar, Branden Campbell on bass, and the rhythmic powerhouse Elaine Bradley behind the drum kit.
Their sound, characterized by upbeat guitars, has been shaped by a range of influences spanning new wave, punk, and pop. The riff towards the end of “Lessons In Love” that nods to Peter Hook, plus their pre-show music of New Order and Depeche Mode, and then the Cure cover of “Just Like Heaven” during the set, give clues about their musical inspiration.
The Fillmore show, which is the first of 17 dates on this US tour, kicked things into motion and was a great portender of things to come, with its gleeful audience echoing every word sung by Tyler Glenn. With a setlist 21 songs deep, they played fan favorites like “Everybody Talks,” “Lessons In Love,” and the anthemic “Animal,” which left the crowd happy and bouncing. A standout moment of the night was covering The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” a nostalgic treat that especially hit home with the Gen-X-y new wavers in the crowd.
Opening acts Silent Rival and Laundry Day primed the audience with their own energetic performances, and there were plenty of fans in the crowd who came early just to see them.
Neon Trees’ “Favorite Daze Tour” will be a cross-country odyssey, with stops in major cities like New York, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and more. The tour culminates in a grand finale at The Belasco in Los Angeles on October 11th. For more information check out www.neontrees.com.