Show Review: Neon Indian with Nite Jewel at the Rickshaw Stop 11/19/2009

by Pouria Yazdi on November 20, 2009

Neon Indian Rickshaw Stop 11/19/2009

I was not really in the mood for a show on Thursday night. I had worked overtime, was feeling grouchy, and as a result was thinking of ways to back out of going to the Rickshaw Stop to see Neon Indian.

But my internal guilt forced me to take action. I decided that I’d eat some sushi in Walnut Creek then head over. Bad mistake. I had the worst piece of sushi I’ve ever had in my life and was wondering if I might be poisoned.

I still forced myself to go, even with the threat of vomiting in my car looming. After finding some choice parking I arrive to the Rickshaw Stop greeted by a freaking line because the show is sold out. Great. I was feeling awful from that uni and had to stand in a line with a bunch of fucking hipsters (probably me included).

The one thing that irks me about the Rickshaw is that I have no idea where the coat check is. It’s probably upstairs but I have never ventured up there. Otherwise I think it’s a real cool venue. The intimacy is dialed up to the max plus the employees are really cool.

The first opener was The Love X Nowhere and I really didn’t get into them. Seems like they were playing a farewell show and had a lot of friends in the audience. The friends were stoked and I was ambivalent.

After The Love X Nowhere got off stage I made my way up to the front. What’s nice about the Rickshaw is that you are so close that you can hit on the band. That is exactly what the people to my right were doing. Asking questions incessantly while Nite Jewel was setting up.

Nite Jewel consists of two waifish young ladies and a male bassist. Synth and drum machine were the weapons of choice for the fairer sex of the band. The combination of the bass guitar, synths, and drum machines made for quite an interesting combination.

At times Nite Jewel’s music is dreamy and trance-like. The type of music you’d listen to while contemplating your navel in the bath after drinking a bottle of wine with yourself. Other times the bass is so heavy and the synths so high you’d swear that some cardboard was about to be laid out on the floor. I wrote in my notes at one point “like a psychedelic version of the Love Boat theme song.”

I really liked their jams. The crowd was super into it as well. Apparently plenty of people were excited to see them and received them really well. I was stoked to find another band that’s cool to see live.

Finally it was Neon Indian’s turn to set up and they took their time, man. I am an old man. 27 years under my belt and standing can be quite a difficult task when your old. My back was hurting and I was growing impatient. I kept trying new stances to relieve my ever compressing spinal column. As I focused on the discomfort Neon Indian’s setup continued to drag.

But this was also not so bad since I was in front of the keyboardist and she is very fine to look at. The kind of girl you’d ask if it was okay to call her. Fortunately I had people around me who were on acid, supremely drunk, or a combo of both so they decided to call at her.

There was a gentleman behind me who would call out to the band, during the setup, the kind of drink they were putting their mouth. “WHISKEY” and “RED STRIPE” are examples of such activity. He must have been 11 or 18 going on 11. He also was very into drunkenly attempting to hit on the keyboardist. Eventually he spilled beer on me which is fun.

Anyways I’m supposed to be writing about the show. “How was Neon Indian?” you might be impatiently asking yourself. When the music started the crowd erupted into a collective dance. Pushing, pulsating, and alive. I was taking my pictures and couldn’t help but feel what they were playing. I wanted to dance and not think about their playing.

As they continued to play I made the assertion that I have not been to a show this great in a while. This was Neon Indian’s first performance in San Francisco and the crowd loved them. A mini-mosh of sorts happened complete with people falling and almost knocking band gear over.

This didn’t bother Neon Indian in the slightest. In fact it made the show more fun. As I anchored my foot with leverage to the floor I had little moments of thinking this band may be the next thing that’s cool. People will be into Neon Indian like they are The Decemberists. It’s not just the music but their performance.

Girls started getting on their boys shoulders, at the frickin’ Rickshaw. I thought the only thing we haven’t touched upon is crowd surfing. It happened, at the frickin’ Rickshaw.

Plenty of people seemed to be on copious amounts of intoxicants as they couldn’t hold themselves up with their own two feet. But this just added to the show’s awesomeness. You know you’re at a good show when a lot of people are fucked up beyond their limit.

The only song I could pick out was “Should Have Taken Acid With You” because a guy next to me shouted, “DUDE. I should have taken acid with you.”

At the end of the night I had seen an amazing band, been part of a double encore, taken awesome pictures, been pushed around by the crowd, and danced my pants off. If you’re seeing Neon Indian in LA tonight I’m sure you’re going to love it.

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