By Alyssa Rinelli Special to OnMilwaukee Published Jul 07, 2024 at 12:01 PM Photography: Dan Garcia

If you are a Neon Trees superfan and happened to be in Milwaukee, yesterday was your day. 

Summerfest attendees had two chances to see multi-platinum band Neon Trees perform: an intimate lounge session at the American Family House and a Miller Lite Oasis show filled with those disco-soaked sounds the band is known for. 

It was apparent early in the day that the night's Neon Trees headliner show would be packed, as I saw fans wait upwards of two hours for a chance to experience a private session with the band at the American Family House. There, Summerfest takes main stage acts and brings them into a free, intimate, living room-esque session on worn rugs and kitchen stools I’m convinced were just picked up at a thrift store. 

Neon Trees at the AmFam HouseX

The band, who rose to fame with their smash 2010 album "Habits," understood that the fans who waited in the Wisconsin sun wanted to hear their hits like "Animal" – and that is what Neon Trees delivered in their four-song living room session, including three platinum hits and a song from their yet-to-be-released 2024 album. 

After the session, fans were treated to an intimate conversation with the band, getting a look into their personalities and origins. The band's lead singer, Tyler Glenn, described their dynamic perfectly, stating, "We've been together for years, and we're like a family," before adding, "My favorite thing is all the ridiculous stuff we do before and after shows. We just goof around."

That goofing-around attitude came forward during their main stage performance. Glenn keeps the crowd entertained with his playful comments and interactions. At one point, he introduced himself humorously as "your stepdad’s worst nightmare," eliciting laughter and cheers from the packed crowd. 

Neon TreesX

Throughout the performance, he was a dynamic presence on stage, high-kicking, spitting and moving energetically around. He tossed his sweaty towels into the audience and made playful gestures, fully embodying the rockstar persona only a Mormon kid from Utah turned rock sensation could embody. 

The band's setlist included fan favorites like "Animal" and "Sleeping With a Friend." Neon Trees' ability to blend their signature pop-rock sound with elements of disco and funk created an electrifying and dance-worthy atmosphere that captivated the audience throughout their performance.

In between rocking out to their hits, Glenn took a few moments to share personal anecdotes on his journey to stardom with the crowd. He reminisced about Neon Trees' first Summerfest appearance in 2010, where he dressed as Captain EO and was so overwhelmed by the crowd's support that he called his mom in tears afterward. He shared that is why Milwaukee had his heart. The band has been back a resounding six times to Summerfest. Neon Trees just can’t get enough of Milwaukee. 

Neon TreesX

The end felt like one big crescendo into their most popular hit, "Everybody Talks." By the second chorus of the platinum song, the mic was turned over to the audience who sang louder than the speakers amplifying the band's tunes. The performance concluded with a powerful, nostalgic chorus that brought the band and audience together in one perfect harmony.

With their electrifying performances and undeniable stage presence, Neon Trees proved once again why they are a must-see act at Summerfest.