Photo courtesy of BB Gun Press
Utah outfit Neon Trees has been on the scene for a bit now, landing on the Billboard Hot 100 with several singles over the course of a 10-year career. Notable for bringing handclaps back into fashion with 2011’s “Animal” and setting the pace for LGBT musicians everywhere, the band has strived to revolutionize the way listeners think about mainstream radio hits.
Now a year since frontman Tyler Glenn came out as gay in Rolling Stone, the group of childhood friends are all in their 30s and looking to grow up, personally and musically.
“We’ve been realizing we’re missing our fans, and we’re missing what we used to do,” says drummer Elaine Bradley when asked about the current tour that symbolizes a return to its roots. “This new show is about them.”
The current “An Intimate Night with Neon Trees” tour represents a pretty big departure from riding on their float ride in the Macy’s Day Parade or their sold out Times Square performances last year. Instead, Bradley says the band’s looking to reconnect with the fans that first supported them.
“It’s just us and the fans,” Bradley said of choosing to play smaller venues. “We stripped down any major wardrobe changes and set decoration. It’s a lot more raw. The energy is incredible.”
With changes to the venue and the scale of their performances, Neon Trees are also changing up their sound. Their newest single “Songs I Can’t Listen To” surprised newer fans of the group with its rock instrumentals. The guitar-heavy track departs majorly from their jaunty, keyboard-driven singles. Sophisticated but still danceable, this fresh taste of the band’s new sound has shown that maybe, just maybe, there’s finally hope for rock to get back on the radio.
A major part of growing up is also settling down, something the band has been taken more seriously of late. Bradley, currently pregnant, has been adapting and compromising during this tour so that she can maintain both her family and rockstar lifestyles.
“It’s definitely different than any other tour. It isn’t ideal,” the mother of two says of playing while pregnant. “My movement’s more limited. There’s been some adjustments to be made, but we’re working with it and it’s going well.”
Neon Trees, Coin, Fictionist, 7 p.m. Friday, July 17, House of Blues, 308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583. Tickets: $22.50, houseofblues.com.