Neon Indian @ San Fran All Shook Down Fest

Last Sunday, I was swinging through San Francisco for the evening and discovered there was a street music fest 2 blocks from my hotel; needless to say, I was pretty amped. SF Weekly’s first ever All Shook Down Festival took place in an area of San Fran called North Beach and included nationwide acts Neon Indian and futuristic diva Janelle Monáe supported by a plethora of local acts led by Forrest Day. I’ve been jamming Neon Indian’s Psychic Chasms pretty regularly since we blogged about it a few months ago so there was no way I was going to miss this. Tickets were $14 ($40 for VIP), but the event staff didn’t seem to know this because all they did was check my ID, give me a wristband, and wave me through…this is off to a good start. All the bars within the fenced area had live music, but I made my way to the main stage, weaving through the arts and food vendors, including New Belgium Brewing Company and a medical marijuana grower.

Forrest Day

The first act I saw was Bay Area native Forrest Day, a 7 piece band that blends groovy, melodic hip hop and with jazzy compositions. Think of a Chili Peppers song with John Popper singing underlined with a dash of Les Claypool’s circus-y basslines. They don’t have much music online yet, but there’s several tracks on their MySpace and you can pre-order their EP from their official website. See below for a video of “Baby Shoes”, which was one of my favorites from their set. Next up was the Grammy-nominated Janelle Monáe, who put on quite a performance. She reminded me of Rihanna if she were in OutKast, but more like fast paced B.O.B. OutKast than funky So Fresh, So Clean OutKast. I can’t say that I was completely into all of her music but it was obvious that she is very talented. Her show included futuristic soul songs with some avant-garde dancers wearing costumes that looked like the robes and masks from Eyes Wide Shut…very entertaining.

In waiting for Neon Indian to come on, I strolled right through the unmanned VIP gate to the front of the stage to watch them set up…this just keeps getting better. Watching them set up all their gear was a show itself…there were cables all over the place. The band is comprised of a drummer, guitarist, and keyboardist supporting front-man Alan Palomo, who surrounds himself with an array of analog processors, keyboards, and effects pedals. The show kicked off with “Local Joke” and the crowd was immediately wowed by the crystal clear synth lines and bombastic bass. Their live sound had everyone in the crowded San Francisco street bouncing in unison. “Terminally Chill”, “Mind, Drips”, and “Psychic Chasms” followed as Palomo swaggered from his mic and keyboard to knobs and switches, demonstrating an impressive command over them all. He even noted in between songs that the previous day was his birthday and he had been blackout drunk the night before…I think this guy is like 22…rockstar. The show continued with highlights including “I Should’ve Taken Acid With You”, “Sleep Paralysis”, and “Deadbeat Summer” before they closed the set with the whiplash inducing “Ephemeral Artery”. For the encore, Palomo replaced keyboardist Leanne Macomber (a hipster’s dreamgirl) for a couple of songs. All in all this show was top notch; don’t miss them if they come close. They are playing in NYC in a couple weeks before supporting Phoenix for some west coast September dates (see their MySpace page). Take the jump for some vids and pictures from the afternoon plus an interview with Palomo from after the show.

Forrest Day – Baby Shoes (not from All Shook Down)

All Shook Down Fest | North Beach San Francisco, 07.25.10

Forrest Day @ All Shook Down Festival

Janelle Monae @ All Shook Down Festival

Neon Indian Setting Up

Neon Indian Full Band Shot @ All Shook Down Fest

Alan Palomo Twisting Knobs and Pressing Buttons

Neon Indian @ All Shook Down Fest

For the encore, some dude jumped on stage and danced alongside Palomo

Alan Palomo Interview at All Shook Down


~ by johnnyjay on August 1, 2010.

One Response to “Neon Indian @ San Fran All Shook Down Fest”

  1. […] later, on September 17th, Neon Indian will perform at Local 506 in Chapel Hill. I had a chance to see them live last year and they did not disappoint, so I highly recommend checking this […]

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