Neon Trees brings big sound to small venue

<p>GVL / Maddie Forshee </p>

GVL / Maddie Forshee 

Maddie Forshee

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Love and relationships are common themes in music. With today’s ever-increasing technology, dating can be a roller coaster for some. For Neon Trees, an electro-pop group hailing from Utah, the relationship between dating and technology helped them write their latest album.

Neon Trees is on the road for the third time since 2010 on their tour titled “An Intimate Night Out with Neon Trees.” On their country-wide tour, the band stopped in Grand Rapids to play at The Intersection on June 24.

Their latest album, “Pop Psychology,” is their third full-length release, following 2010’s “Habits” and 2012’s “Picture Show.” The band said that their latest album is a more confident, complete album that focuses on the joys and frustrations of dating in the modern world.

“(Technology) has created a way to communicate, but people aren’t really communicating,” said lead singer Tyler Glenn. “A lot of (this album) definitely began as a commentary about love and technology.”

With songs titled “Love in the 21st Century” and “Text Me in the Morning,” Glenn said that the band really wanted to create ‘pop culture gem moments’ that reflected the world as they saw it.

“In one way, (dating) is really convenient,” said Brendan Campbell, Neon Trees’ guitarist. “You don’t have to wonder what they’re interested in. On the other end, it takes away some of that magic of the chase.”

The title of the tour is named “An Intimate Night Out” because Neon Trees wanted to have a close, intimate-feeling show to offer fans seeing them perform the intimate songs that appear on the new album. In addition to playing songs from every album, the band purposely chose to play smaller venues in order to create a feeling of closeness and unity during the show rather than playing huge arenas, where they say, they feel very disconnected from the fans.

“There’s something about being able to stand in front of someone and watch them play music,” said Chris Allen, the bassist for the group. “(At larger venues) you can barely see their facial expressions or the in-between moments when we’re interacting with each other. That’s the cool human element. It’s not lost in music, it’s just not getting the exposure it deserves.”

The band says that this tour reminds them of their first tours they did when they didn’t have a fan base like they do now, and that has been really enjoyable for them.

On this tour, the band has been able to plan so that they played a show in their home state of Utah a few weeks after starting the tour, giving them some time to hang out with friends and family and refresh before completing the tour.

Glenn said that while they don’t really get homesick, all four members of the band have their moments of being tired of being on the road, but the smaller shows really get them excited.

“It’s a special tour,” Glenn said. “We’re making sure we route it to intimate venues. We played (The Intersection) in 2011, so it’s fun to be back. It’s really been a morale boost for all of us.”

Neon Trees has released an album every two years since their debut, but for their next album, things aren’t so sure. With two of the members married with kids, the group said that they might take a step back and enjoy their personal lives, and really dive into working on an album at a slower pace than they’re used to.

For more information about upcoming shows at The Intersection, visit For more information about Neon Trees, visit their website,