Outside, bars were alive long after the concert, and just two blocks away, bongs and pipes and other easy-access, gateway drug paraphernalia sold on the street in plain sight.
American rock band Neon Trees joined music royalty and received their first-ever memorabilia display in a case unveiling at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas on Thursday, July 31.
Comprised of lead singer Tyler Glenn, guitarist Chris Allen, bassist Branden Campbell and drummer Elaine Bradley, the group unveiled the case in front of dozens of screaming fans.
It was hard to tell whether it was a haphazard and incongruous example of a rock absurdity -- a collision of a hollow cliche and a breathing example of its aspiring opposite -- or a clever wink of self-awareness: the kick drum's face read "Fame is Dead," while the lead singer bounded and squealed and even glittered in a hyper-conscious act he'd practiced a million times before.
Tyler Glenn, lead singer of Neon Trees, was born to lead a glam rock band; it's easy to imagine him, growing up in the '80s, pouring over the early years of MTV and obsessing over David Bowie's unending mutations.
The influences are clear: glittering jacket like Michael Jackson (on his equally skinny shoulders); keyboards and lights like Duran Duran; dark, accented makeup like half the bands of the era, and nearly every group that has passed through New York City's Webster Hall over the past decade and a half, since The Strokes helped bring back the growl of the Reagan years' seedier times.
Yes, he puts on a show, with his band -- back home buddy Chris Allen on guitar, Braden Campbell on bass and a stand-in for pregnant drummer Elaine Bradley -- with a mix of grandeur and a personal touch that, given his 29 years, makes clear he must have dabbled in the emocore of the late '90s and early 2000s.Lights flash, he writhes, and he howls, as soaring, ready-made dance-rock hits ("Animal," "Hooray for Hollywood" and "1983," one of the band's first breakout hits and that which encapsulates their entire existence, soared particularly loud and strong) with just enough bittersweetness and angst in the lyrics to come back in chants from the mix of teens and twentysomethings in the audience.The venue, in the heart of Manhattan's ever-gentrifying East Village, was the incidentally perfect choice for the show.The crowd cheered, then laughed, and there was a bit of obvious guilt in the response: whereas once Bics, held overhead, lent a glow above the sweaty audience, it was now i Phones, snapping instagrams and, needing to chronicle the moment, Facebooking, that distracted the young concert-goers, many of whom, no doubt, had pirated the band's music.But as Glenn said, a catchy song has a way of getting in one's head, and Neon Trees is nothing if not catchy and dance-worthy and ultimately contagious.The set lasted well over an hour, having started at ; the opening act, JJAMZ, soared with their infinitely talented indie supergroup rock oddly and unfortunately miscast as the soundtrack to the crowd's entrance, with many still queuing throughout their set.