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September 25, 2010

Review: Neon Indian at Virgin Mobile FreeFest

By the end of Neon Indian's hour-long set, the dance forest felt more like a dust bowl. 

Following quieter acts like Will Eastman and Wolfgang Gartner, the combined oomph of Alan Polomo (the Neon Indian himself), guitarist and singer Ronald Gierhart, drummer Jason Faries, and keyboard player and killer vocalist Leanne Macomber overwhelmed, in a good way.

The fans right near the stage felt it too. It was easily the heaviest crowd in that tent since the day started.

Electronica enthusiasts unfamiliar with Neon Indian and expecting a lonely DJ standing behind a turn-table at the club-music heavy dance tent might have been disappointed by the foursome, but they didn't show it.  

They were both packed in front of the stage and sprawled further away under the shade of the trees in the Merriweather forest.

Earlier, when Eastman played, the crowd was wholly in front of the stage, worshipping the DJ up close and highlighting the fact that artists like Eastman usually perform in spaces more enclosed than the dance forest.

Neon Indian’s synthesized and guitar-driven sound brings to mind classic rock band Pink Floyd. All at once they churn out the driving drum beats of “Money”, the rich, orchestral notes of “All of My Love”, the atmospherics of “Echoes”, and a sound that is that is all their own.

The group expertly pairs club staples - frenzied electronics, synthesizers - and an overall speed that makes Interstate 95 look like a parking lot with rock requirements like guitar riffs, fog machines, and of-course the long-haired drummer.

-Peter Krause

Peter Krause is a features intern at the Baltimore Sun this year. He is a junior at Goucher College, where he majors in English with a minor in Anthropology. A native of Baltimore, he loves to pop in some headphones, jump on his bicycle and jam to Lil Wayne, Lady Gaga, and various techno artists.

Photo: Special to the Baltimore Sun, Josh Sisk


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Posted by Erik Maza at 6:51 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Virgin Mobile Festival
        

Comments

No reviews of any acts after 4:45 pm?

Can anyone figure out what Maza did on Saturday?

@trouble: good question. I was filing two print stories (one for the Maryland edition, and one for the main paper, which is http://bit.ly/aUg9ew). And I was also publishing all the reviews you saw throughout the day, as well as tweeting furiously from @midnightsunblog. Thanks for reading!

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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