Tuesday night is always a hard slot to fill. You’re still getting over Mondayitis and you haven’t reached the middle mark of Wednesday yet, so you’re in pretty benign no man’s land. But what better way to banish the banality of the work week than catching KLP and Neon Indian at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory?
Despite the small turnout before the main course, KLP, the moniker of Sydney-based artist and Triple J presenter Kristy Lee Peters, brought a life and energy to her performance, hitting every note perfectly and dancing like nobody’s watching. The Hands remix by D-Cup was a special treat, the live version doing justice on the original.
A few minutes passed in between the sets before the Texan ensemble took to the stage, the curtains parting as the band members took their places nonchalantly. As soon as they started to perform, however, it was like someone had run an electric current through the floor and had decided to turn it on, flipping a switch that instantly transformed front man Alan Palomo from a normal human being into a powerhouse of slick dance moves.
Performing a career-spanning repertoire, early track Annie was one of the openers, setting the bar high for a level of energy that would not dip for the entire duration of their performance. It had been approximately five years since Neon Indian last visited Australia to perform, and the sound has changed markedly since the release of 2011’s Era Extraña.
Glitzy Hive, one of the tracks off latest album VEGA INTL. Night School, is an accurate summation of what their latest work offers: that glitzy, glamorous escapism that makes you want to jump to your feet and get down with it. The lyricism is more solidified and dance-friendly as opposed to the warped and warbling psychedelics of Era Extraña. But don’t get me wrong, the music they produced in their earlier years is just as great, and when Terminally Chill came on, crowd were happy to oblige and sway like a warped auditory acid trip.
But it was Slumlord that many were most eager for, the song which best encapsulates that regal sense of authority imbued within the thematics of the album. The 80’s-esque, synthy keyboard rift at the beginning of the track makes it the perfect backdrop for the heady, ambiance of the official music video and a live performance under the diffusion of neon lights.
However, it was Deadbeat Summer that was one of the most revered performances, the crowd swaying to the song that sounds like a simmering New Mexico heat wave. The usual “let’s depart the stage and then come back for our final song” spiel was enacted, not before an cheeky Palamo returned and cried out, “We didn’t come halfway around the world to half ass a set!”. Impeccably dressed and effortlessly energetic, Palomo and his band charmed the crowd with their pitch perfect performance.