Neon Trees fills the Washington Hilton with rockin' music and light shows

The Utah-based pop rock band wowed crowds at its "private concert."

Dressed in ripped skinny jeans and a black t-shirt, I was ready for a rock concert on Dec. 5. As a long-time fan, I thought I knew what to expect from my third Neon Trees concert. What I wasn't prepared for was a luxurious event filled with photographers and crisp suits.

The event, described by the Washington Hilton as a "private concert with Neon Trees,” was surprisingly sophisticated, yet lively and fun. The Hilton hosted the concert as a part of the @PLAY series. The campaign, in conjunction with Live Nation, is an attempt to create "experiences that bring you closer together," according to Hilton.

This high-end music event delivered on its promise to create an experience, especially for the exclusive few who were invited. Throughout the evening, Hilton Honors members enthusiastically told me about how they were able to exchange their reward points for an invitation to the event. Gourmet food stations, including fresh chow mein, were scattered around the cavernous room. Lights flashed as photographers moved through the room to the house music mixes of DJ Schemes. Down the stairs, a large concert stage and an opening act awaited excited party guests. On top of all of this, an all-night complimentary bar primed guests for enjoying the high energy beats of headlining act, Neon Trees.

Opening with a killer blue light show, Neon Trees breathed life and vigor into the unlikely performance space. In between songs, lead singer Tyler Glenn turned to the crowd, saying, "As many of you know, I just went through an enormous break-up recently," referencing the recently-released music video for "Songs I Can't Listen To," where Glenn plays someone who is madly in love with another man. Glenn makes a powerful statement in the video, after coming out as a gay Mormon in 2014. He continued on to give an inspirational soliloquy during the show on the importance of breathing new life into old things and being confident to become your true self.

Playing an array of songs spanning from their oldest to most recent album, Neon Trees exploded on stage with high energy, touching honesty and enticing light shows. After showing D.C. that its material is relevant and ever-changing, Neon Trees’ future looks bright.

smorgan@theeagleonline

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