The Zoo, located in the Fortitude Valley (formerly Brisbane’s red-light district, currently the centre of its night life) hosted Central American wunderkind Alan Palomo and his accompanists on the 1 March. Operating under the moniker Neon Indian, Palomo has visited Australia’s shores previously and was happy to return again to delight a sizeable crowd, drunk on his brand of gauzy pop. Teeth-grating bass drones built anticipation for the band’s arrival, giving way to spacey stutters as the band began.
Early on in the piece, old favourite “Terminally Chill” squelched its way into everyone’s hearts with its breathy sighs and liquid synths. Amongst these first few songs, a cavernous rendition of “Mind Drips” was a particular highlight with thunderous percussion delivered by Jason Faries. Throughout the evening however, Palomo’s vocals were all too frequently lost in the whirlpool of hazy synth and bass that enveloped the venue. His aptitude as a performer was obvious, though. At times, whilst on the mic, he seemed to be channeling a deadpan hipster Prince and at others, he hunched over his Korg like a mad scientist – desperate to revivify the strangled-sounds of dormant computer chips and ‘80s New Wave.
Crossing the halfway point, the band’s rendition of Fallout transformed one of the best tracks off Palomo’s latest into a towering, synth-fueled slice of apocalyptica. It took crowd favourite “Polish Girl”, however, to really generate dance floor heat as the crowd began to respond to the group’s exertions. A perfect rendition of Deadbeat Summer rode this momentum into the final track. Rhetorically asking the crowd whether their last number, “Can be an amalgamation of songs?”, the band launched into a mighty mash-up of “Ephemeral Artery” and other assortments. An appreciative crowd cheered Neon Indian off-stage in the obligatory will they?-won’t they? farce that is an encore. They weren’t tardy, though, and they rounded out the evening with, “The first Neon Indian song ever” – “Should Have Taken Acid With You” sending the crowd out into the balmy evening on a beautiful high.