How do you turn a thirty minute album into an hour long live show? Extensive synth melodies and extended riffs on an electric guitar with a psychedelic digital screen, of course!  Singer Alan Palomo and co. of Neon Indian amplified the sound of the album Psychic Chasms for their last North American tour date at Lee’s Palace.

Various instruments clutter the stage, but the stand out on centre stage is the theremin. One of the earliest electronic instruments, the theremin contains two antennas and is played without even touching.  This results in the eerie, futuristic high-pitched introduction to the song “Local Joke.”  By the second song, “Terminally Chill” the crowd started dancing and by the third song people started moshing! I blame the elevated reverb.

Without a fancy light show, the guitarist mesmerized the crowd with an electric guitar emitting colourful eyes and zig zags on the digital background.  Palomo apologized to the crowd for their delay due to “Robocop” at the Canadian boarder who asked them when the last time they smoked weed was: “and you can just imagine where the conversation went from there” he laughed.  And this was the perfect cue for a regretful tune surrounded by a blissful pop air for “Should Have Taken Acid with You.”  A wave of nostalgia about summer 2010, while sounding like summer 1970 via “Deadbeat Summer” before a short encore wrapped up the set. 

I’m still seeing sounds from that electric guitar and theremin combination. 

Photos by Derek Kirk

Words by Ivana Markotic