Palomo took the stage with his touring band, including keyboardist, guitar player, drummer, and live visual conductor. Palomo himself, at center stage, spent most of his time offering vocals, effects, and some of the quirkiest dance moves ever. Together, the band provided grit and character to the mellow synthesizer melodies of Neon Indian’s studio work. The sound was much more visceral, but the band’s levels allowed no single component to stand out. Even Palomo’s airy vocals were washed out in the sound. While this might leave some wanting, the “big picture” of the band’s music would have been missed. The music is silky smooth, with no clash in notes or levels of any instrument. Furthermore, they are exceptionally well rehearsed, especially with their abundant vocal harmonies. They may have stopped playing for a total of two minutes during their whole set (including the break before the encore). Instead, they played transitional sections that varied in sound. Some were ethereal and ambient, some more like controlled chaos with heavy feedback. After the band pounced on the opening note to a new song like a puma on a child, the transitions had given way to a much different sound, with the precision of a DJ set and creativity of a jam band. In short, their set was a perfectly choreographed exhibition of 80s synth rock gone horribly awry, and the result was amazing.
Much credit should go to Jason Faries, Palomo’s drummer. His drum lines ranged from simplistic 4:4 to all out anarchy, as he mercilessly beat the life out of his toms. In turn, the crowd, and Palomo, danced for virtually the entire set. A rarity for Paradise at this kind of show, several drunk girls even stage dove to the adoration of the band and crowd (not so much the staff). The band’s energy and confidence fed the crowd’s excitement and anticipation all night. The communication between both parties was astounding, with Palomo frequently asked the crowd for feedback between songs, and the band built up anticipation during interludes, only to explode into a killer riff. While each song of the set was worthy of merit, Era Extraña, Future Sick, and Sleep Paralysist were stand outs. All ears should be on the grindstone for the next time this band comes to town. In the meantime, take a peek at Era Extraña, which should probably be played at every basement party from now on at deafening levels.
Photo Credit: Dylan Norton