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25 October 2012

Neon Trees rock the vote at Mizner Park

Pop-rock band Neon Trees took over Mizner Park as part of the Rock the Vote event Monday night, preceding a live screening of the last presidential debate.

The free concert attracted many young students. Opening act DJ Skee played the role of host after getting the audience ready with a crowd-pleasing set. He sat down with Neon Trees for a Q&A to discuss politics and how they manage to get along despite their different political views.

The band consisting of Tyler Glenn, Christopher Allen, Branden Campbell and Elaine Bradley came out to get young voters excited about exercising their right to vote. Coming from two very different states, California and Ohio, the band admitted to having different political viewpoints. The partisan split in the group fails to serve as a wedge between them.

“I think one of the things about a democracy, besides the fact that you vote in your conscience, is the fact that you can still love and respect one another while differing in your opinions and I think at the end of the day we all want America to do well we all want this place to be a good country to live in still and there are just different ways of going about that and we need to respect each other in our opinions,” Bradley said.

After the brief Q&A – where they went on to discuss how the band’s name was originally inspired by neon palms trees at an In-N-Out Burger joint – the group took the stage.  Lead singer Glenn worked the crowd with his contagious energy, powerful vocals and rocker dance moves, supported by the rock tunes and vocals of his equally talented bandmates.

Keeping the energy high, he took every chance to connect with the crowd in between songs with personal stories of his own teenage years as a “punk kid” who didn’t care much about anything. At 28 years old, the musician has educated himself and shaken the apathy he once had. The crowd went nuts for both “Animal” and “Everybody Talks,” the group’s biggest hits to date.

If you think they sound good on the radio, you haven’t heard anything until you’ve seen these guys live. One of the highlights of the show, however, was a drum solo between Bradley and Campbell where the two donned Obama and Romney masks as they jammed together.

“Now I’m bipartisan,” joked Bradley.

What you take away from the band’s show is that they truly love performing and feeding off the energy from the crowd.  During their Q&A they promised a great show, something they were able to deliver on.