Opening the night in a bandmember’s basement in Boulder, Colorado, complete with flashing neon lights, laser beams and a fog machine, the electro-pop duo 3OH!3 energetically jumped around like party animals. Many who loved the band in the 2000s found a comforting nostalgia with their return.
Friday night’s virtual concert presented by the Union Program Council featuring Neon Trees and 3OH!3 brought viewers a live performance tailored for Manhattan. Nathaniel Motte and Sean Foreman of 3OH!3 began the show greeting viewers and performing two new songs from their upcoming album “NEED,” along with older ones from Platinum and Gold-certified records.
“We’re so happy to be here, thank you K-State for having us,” Motte said. “We actually started at the University of Colorado, so we love playing university shows. It reminds us of when we used to hang out in dorm rooms.”
The fun and weird spirit they’ve carried with them through the years shined as the two cracked jokes about Motte’s recently replaced air filter while performing and making up dance moves.
“Put your hands in the air for Nat’s air filter,” Foreman said, as they moved into their song “Touchin’ on My.”
Before beginning their song “Double Vision,” the pair continued with their signature humor as Motte jested about performing from his basement by jokingly yelling up the stairs for his mom to bring them Totino’s Pizza Rolls.
“We’re waiting on some Totino’s, Mom!” Motte said. “I can smell them!”
Playing their song “My First Kiss,” the band performed with high energy, moving around the room as the fog and strobes sustained the atmosphere of an in-person experience.
The lively duo ended their portion of the show with “Streets of Gold” and “DONTTRUSTME,” expressing gratitude and wishing viewers well.
The upbeat and humorous show took a turn as Neon Trees opened with a mellowed acoustic version of “Animal.” Frontman Tyler Glenn belted out the lyrics with a gravelly tone while guitars and drums played softly.
The group performed from their well-lit studio with a panel of decorative lights behind them and a patterned rug beneath their feet. While the set was an acoustic take, the band still brought their shiny rock sound with new and old songs.
Glenn removed his sunglasses and took a seat with his guitar for their song “Nights,” emotionally singing and passionately strumming.
“Thanks, Kansas State, I feel like we haven’t played anywhere,” Glenn said. “I love this so much.”
Between songs like “Used to Like” and “New Best Friend,” the band members exchanged jokes with one another, saying they “are a comedy group on the side.”
They continued to take a laid-back, stripped-down approach to their lineup, but still kept the energy high for an engaging performance.
“We’re missing one of our players tonight, Chris Allen, he’s at home,” Glenn said. “He didn’t feel comfortable coming and we respect it. It’s COVID times, but we’re pulling it off.”
Connecting with Kansas State students, drummer Elaine Bradley commented on the pandemic and the strange situation of virtual concerts.
“We’re thinking of you. I never went to an online show, we’d love to hear from you guys about what it’s like,” Bradley said. “Are you in your gaming chairs wiggling back and forth to the beat, or are you with your friends in your masks? Or are we out of touch?”
Closing the night with the four-time platinum-earning song “Everybody Talks,” Neon Trees began the song with bursts of drums and fast strums of guitars for an expressive finale.
3OH!3’s new single “I’m So Sad” and Neon Trees’ new album “I Can Feel You Forgetting Me” can be found on all music service platforms.