ACL '09: Neon Indian Dazzled--Even If Everyone Thought They Were The Raveonettes.

All photos by Patrick Michels

The radio announcer who introduced the band made sure to point out to the crowd that, despite whatever their programs may have said, this was not The Raveonettes. But, alas, the late arrivers to the XBox stage didn't necessarily hear as much.

So, great as Neon Indian may have been yesterday--and, make no mistake, they were pretty great, showcasing an increased on-stage confidence, and performing as a four-piece with Ronnie Gierhart back in the mix after missing the band's Monolith Festival debut--festival-goers throughout the day were consistently overheard talking about how they'd caught The Raveonettes earlier in the day and had enjoyed it, even if they hadn't been able to recognize any of the songs they'd heard.

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Introduced as an Austin band (...whatever..), the four-piece version of Neon Indian showcased more energy, grit and balls than the three-piece outfit could (specifically on the band's closing song "Ephemeral Artery"). 

But, perhaps a little overwhelmed by the circumstances surrounding their late invitation to the play the festival (the band got its invite less than 24 hours before their festival performance), the band's set did face a few issues. In particular, frontman Alan Palomo's between-song knob-tweaks and soundchecks hurt the general flow of the show--but, overall, a curious crowd remained captivated by the warped summer sounds, even as the ominous clouds hung over the attendees in the early festival hours.

In all, it was an impressive ACL debut for Palomo and Co.--although it likely could have proved more fruitful if the band dropped its name a few times throughout its set, just to make sure audiences knew whose songs they were enjoying.


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