Neon Indian Transforms 9:30 Club with Energy, Psychedelia, Nostalgia

Let’s start off by saying that I’ve seen D.C.’s 9:30 Club in many different musical settings.

In most cases, I’ve seen pop/alternative bands in the renowned venue, but I’ve also been in attendance for folk singer-songwriter performances, hip-hop rock mashups, Americana-inspired rock, Talking Heads cover bands and Halloween funk shows.

But never once have I seen 9:30 Club transformed into an electronic dance party like it was Friday, Oct. 7 for Classixx and Neon Indian.

Classixx, a DJ duo made up of Los Angeles residents Michael David and Tyler Blake, brought psychedelia to the East Coast through the airwaves, and when combined with the bright LED screens on stage to assist in the transcendence, brought the audience to a state of eclectic bliss.

Little by little, those in attendance lost their sense of sobriety—whether by the hypnotics of the music or by other means.


All of the synthesizers, LED screens and electronic beats were merely preparation for the main performance of the night, Neon Indian, who took the stage promptly at 11:00 p.m.

Fans greeted frontman Alan Palomo with thundering applause and shrill screams, this was the energy in which he fed off to dance across the stage the entirety of the night.

A smile rarely left his lips as he and his band played tracks from their latest album, Vegas Intl. Night School, as well as its predecessor, Era Extraña, making for a high-energy performance that gave no inclination of ceasing.

The light-hearted feeling was reciprocated from his audience as the heavy synth and thundering bass caused every body to sway in rhythm, eye to close in admiration and every hand to raise in praise.

As the set appeared to come to a close, Palomo delivered what he called a public service announcement, one that belittled the idea of an encore, explaining he preferred “to use a system of mutual admiration.”

“If we’re both feeling this next one, we’ll play some more,” he said to his audience.

Sure enough, after leaving the stage momentarily, Palomo and his band returned, evoking screams and applause from the anxiously-waiting fans.

“We feel the exact same way,” Palomo said just before the twinkling introduction of “Polish Girl” surged throughout the venue, creating a sort of dance-magic that wiped away any sense of exhaustion as the night drew on.

Dressed in a black button-up shirt and tie, white ankle jeans and chunky white Reeboks, Palomo channeled the late Michael Jackson or even Prince with his 1980’s demeanor, fitting for the Prince cover he delivered just after midnight to conclude the show.
Attendees were reminded throughout the evening to “just let go,” a mantra this genre speaks fluently, and one that warmed each fan as they exited 9:30 into the chilly October air with ringing ears, sore feet and and cheerfully exhausted eyes.

Featured Photo Credit: Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo kicked off their 9:30 Club show with high energy Friday Oct. 7, 2016. (Jordan Stovka/Bloc Reporter)

Jordan Stovka is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at

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