Wait, when did Alan Palomo and Neon Indian become rock stars? Forget that the band’s Blue Stage crowd was undoubtedly bolstered by those jostling for Wu-Tang Clan real estate Saturday evening, the chillwave pioneers are a fully realized, mass pop outfit.
From the tropical vice of new indie pop single “Annie” and the Members Only strut of “The Glitzy Hive,” the 27-year-old Palomo, outfitted in an absurd, triangle-patterned white sweater, had us swaying far behind the soundbooth. By contrast, Friday’s Schoolboy Q headlining set was a literal walk in the park if one wanted to move up toward the front of the crowd in-set.
A fluorescent pool hall sign that flashed “Night School” signaled a sort of Texas highway watering hole aesthetic: These are retro-fitted ’80s jams, yes, but they pack a seedy, forward attitude. I didn’t get the multi-instrumentalist’s ironic stethoscope–maybe an homage to when Dr. Dre would DJ in scrubs–but hey it looked surgical.
The callback to 2009’s “Pyschic Chasms” drew earned, organic applause for the Denton band. Jams like the six-year-old, penultimately performed “Deadbeat Summer,” now with a five-piece ensemble, gnawed via distinct layers–bass, drums, stacked synth lines.
The lesson here? Put out good records that breathe and resonate in our Spotify playlists and next thing you know we’re reminded how good they are live years later.
“I love Austin,” Palomo said. “It’s a rapidly changing city, it’s always a snapshot every time I’m here.”
Let’s get together again soon.