Neon Trees Concert Postponed | (800) 914-SHOW

Neon Trees Concert Postponed


Neon Trees regretfully must postpone some dates of their upcoming fall tour– including a scheduled Nov. 7 show at Purdue University– due to health issues of bassist Branden Campbell, who recently underwent open-heart surgery for a valve replacement.  The intense touring schedule has been exhaustive and doctors have advised Campbell to slow down.

“We had initially thought we should cancel the entire tour, but Branden wouldn’t let us, thus the new abridged dates can be found on our website (  We are very sorry that we are postponing some of our upcoming dates.  Obviously, our bass player’s health must come first, and we thank all of our fans for understanding.  We will make it up to you in the near future – we promise.”

New concert announcement: Neon Trees


Homeslide_neontreesNEWS RELEASE

August 18, 2014

Neon Trees ‘First Things First Tour’ will make stop at Purdue in November

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Neon Trees and Fictionist will perform at Elliott Hall of Music at 8 p.m. on Nov. 7. This performance is presented by the Purdue Student Concert Committee with support from the Student Fee Activities Board.

The multi-platinum group is touring in support of its new album, “Pop Psychology,” which debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200, at No. 1 on the iTunes Alternative Album Chart and in the top 5 of the Overall iTunes Album Chart.

“Sleeping With A Friend,” the first single from “Pop Psychology,” has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. USA Today named it “Song of the Week.”

Neon Trees – comprising Tyler Glenn (lead vocals, keys), Chris Allen (guitars), Branden Campbell (bass), and Elaine Bradley (drums, vocals) – recorded “Pop Psychology” in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Los Angeles; and their hometown of Provo, Utah, with longtime collaborator Tim Pagnotta. The album is the follow up to 2012′s “Picture Show,” which featured the RIAA double platinum single “Everybody Talks.” The single was in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Neon Trees’ debut album, “Habits,” was released in 2010 and featured the double platinum smash single “Animal.”

The band has toured with Taylor Swift, The Killers, Maroon 5, Duran Duran, Flaming Lips, and My Chemical Romance.

Ticket information

Tickets are $30 for students and $35 for the general public (limit of six tickets per person).

Purdue students will receive an email with instructions how to purchase tickets online through at 10 a.m. Sept. 16. Tickets go on sale to Purdue and Ivy Tech Lafayette students, and Purdue faculty, staff and retirees with a current identification card at 10 a.m. Sept. 16 at the Stewart Center box office or at 765-494-3933. Tickets for the general public go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 17 through, or at 800-914-SHOW.

Photo: A publication-quality photograph of Neon Trees is available at

“Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio” out now!

Melissa Aldana and Purdue University

Melissa Aldana’s third album and her first for Concord Records – entitled “Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio” – has been released today Tuesday June 24 in the US. The album also features master bassist Pablo Menares (also from Chile) as well as the dynamic and colorful Francisco Mela on drums (from Cuba – he also tours with Joe Lovano and McCoy Tyner). Great reviews are already pouring’s one from Something Else. And another from London Jazz News. The editorial review on iTunes also gets the album & the music very well. The album is also available on CD from Amazon as well as directly from Concord Records.

This is all happening while Melissa & Crash Trio are on a rather hectic tour schedule. On June 16 they began the tour at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in NYC, and Brian Pace produced a video repertage with interview (The Page Report) from the show which you can watch by clicking here. On June 17 the band played in Portland, OR, on June 18 in San Diego, CA and on June 20 at the Vancouver Jazz Festival in Canada. Vancouver did a nice little #tweetngreet” on Melissa as well – watch that here. On June 23 Melissa & Crash Trio played the wonderful Rochester Jazz Festival – Rochester Festival Director John Nugent is himself a killing saxophone player (and a big supporter of Melissa)!

Melissa is headed back to NYC today prior to going to DC Jazz Festival as a special guest with the legendary Paquito D’Rivera on June 27. Then on June 28 Melissa & Crash Trio are headed to Twin Cities Jazz Festival, on June 29 to Saratoga Jazz Festival in upstate New York, June 30 to Ottawa Jazz Festival (Canada) and on July 5 to Iowa City Jazz Festival.

Then, from Iowa, it’s straight to Europe – here are the upcoming European dates this summer:

July 8: Vienna Jazz Festival, Austria
July 10: Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Denmark
July 11: Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Denmark
July 15: Umbria Jazz Festival, Italy
July 17: Vitoria Jazz Festival, Spain
July 31: Marciac Jazz Festival, France
Aug. 1+2: Duc des Lombards, Paris, France

Don’t miss Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio on October 18 in Lafayette, Indiana!

You can follow Melissa’s live schedule on her (new) website.

Introducing the Purdue Convos app!






Fieldwork: An Alan Lomax Centennial Residency

Featuring Jayme Stone/The Lomax Project
Friday/Saturday, March 27-28, 2015

20100927210920!Alan_LomaxBeginning 1934, with cumbersome—and now quaintly-primitive—recording equipment loaded in the back of his car, the young Alan Lomax (1915-2002) travelled down the dusty byways and backwaters of the United States to source and record the roots and branches of American folk music for the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress. Initially, working with his folklorist father, John Lomax, and later with numerous other colleagues and guides, he captured for posterity an incredibly deep and staggeringly diverse musical portrait of life across the American and Caribbean landscape. With his remarkable penchant uncovering leads and tips, he was able to track down hitherto notable yet unknown talents, including artists that we now know as everyday names: Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Big Bill Broonzy, Muddy Waters, Jelly Roll Morton, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Pete Seeger, to name but a few. Importantly, he also documented with unvarnished and unflinching clarity, the songs, stories, and circumstances of Americans whose lives and voices were limited by the strictures of the pre-Civil Rights era. In a career spanning more than six decades, more than seventeen thousand recordings and interviews, scores of concerts, and TV and radio shows, and nearly two dozen books, Lomax’s legacy as a one of the most preeminent and authoritative American musicologists to have captured our cultural history is worthy of commemoration.

Now, as a way to celebrate the Alan Lomax Centennial in 2015 and examine the incredibly diverse cultural source material of our American identity, we’ve assembled a two-day residency engagement featuring a stellar ensemble led by two-time Juno winning artist, banjoist, composer, and self-proclaimed instigator, Jayme Stone. In this residency and especially in The Lomax Project concert, Stone brings together some of the country’s most distinctive and creative roots musicians to revive, recycle and re-imagine traditional music. The repertoire includes Bahamian sea chanties, African-American a cappella singing from the Georgia Sea Islands, Old World weavers’ work songs, ancient Appalachian ballads, fiddle tunes, game songs and ring shouts. This residency offers us as listeners and musicians a participatory gateway into our treasured and diverse cultural history as Americans.


Friday, March 27

Jayme Stone will discuss Alan Lomax’s life, work, and profound impact on American culture. Free admission.

Jayme Stone and the band will host a “Collaboratory” (equal parts collaborative and explorative laboratory) for musicians interested in examining and developing musical arrangements sourced, or inspired by, field and archival recordings. Bring your preferred acoustic instrument and join the musical investigation in a supportive, positive musical environment. Free admission.

The two preceding events will run consecutively with a brief pause between them. Guests and non-musicians are certainly welcome and encouraged to stay and observe the Collaboratory.
Saturday, March 28

Saturday, March 28

Musicians, now it’s your turn to capture the songs and stories of our community in the true Lomax spirit! Simply bring your preferred acoustic instrument and any musical collaborators to capture historical and contemporary portraits of our region, as well as your version of our story today. All musical styles and genres are welcome, but instruments and arrangements that can be captured by a single, hiqh-quality condenser microphone will be most ideal. Then, we’ll share your work on the Purdue Convocations website and social media channels for all to experience. Reservations required, but participation is free. See for details.

8pM Concert: Jayme Stone and The Lomax Project / LAFAYETTE THEATER
As a culmination of our Lomax residency, musically adventurous banjoist Jayme Stone will lead his group through a vast songbook of Americana sourced from the Lomaxes’ archival work. This unique, startlingly diverse musical journey will span decades and cultures in tribute to both the range of Lomax’s musical curiosity and our own American spirit. Lafayette Theater. Tickets required. Doors will open at 7PM. All ages welcome. Cash bar available.


The_Sounds_of_EarthOn August 20, 1977, the renowned spacecraft Voyagers I & II were launched into space to explore Jupiter and Saturn, and beyond. Famously, four “golden records” containing 27 musical selections were sent along as special payload. Then President Jimmy Carter described these as a “present from a small, distant world” to any potential discoverer of the craft. NASA appointed astronomer/astrophysicist Carl Sagan to lead the selection process, and he then turned to Lomax to assist in the process. In what was undoubtedly a charged set of discussions about how to represent the greatest aspects of creative human expression, Lomax proposed and successfully advocated for 15 tracks representing a diverse array of global cultures, including “Dark Was The Night,” by Blind Willie Johnson. Now, with the Voyager spacecraft travelling into interstellar space, Lomax can be said to have projected human culture to “infinity and beyond.”

Alan Lomax’s story and contributions to society are especially rich and reward deeper investigation. Among Lomax’s notable books is his memoir, The Land Where the Blues Began, which, as Mick Jagger says, offers “a fresh insight into the strange and cruel origins of the blues.” Also, the acclaimed Miles Davis and Sun Ra biographer, John Szwed, has written a fine “cradle to grave” biography entitled, Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded The World.

Importantly, the vast majority of Lomax’s work is available for study and enjoyment on-line (along with the contributions of many others):

The American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress:

The Association for Cultural Equity:


10157232_10152182996176144_9184745997571506031_nPRINT YOUR TICKETS EARLY!

Due to technical maintenance required by the location of the event, you will NOT be able to print your tickets after 2:00pm the day of the show.

After 2:00pm, un-printed tickets will be available at the Stewart Center box office from 2:00pm-4:30pm. If you have not printed/picked up your tickets by 4:30pm, please proceed to the Co-Rec Parking Lot where there will be Box Office representatives who can assist you.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at the show!

The Making of a Classic

It was September 26, 1957, and something great was coming that evening: a Broadway musical unlike any that had come before. “I thought West Side Story was going to be a flop,” says Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book of the new show. “I thought maybe it would run for three months. I didn’t care. It was so not what a musical should be.”

streetteam_westsidestoryThat was evident to audiences from the outset. West Side Story opened not with a song, not with a book scene, but with a thrilling danced “Prologue.” But this was not dance for dancing’s sake, not a lavish, showy production number designed to get the audience into an upbeat mood. The number featured two rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, conveying their hatred toward one another through movement.

The “Prologue” remains one of the most impressive, expressive starts to any musical. But it is probably impossible for modern audiences to understand just how startling and original that number, like the rest of West Side Story, was 50-plus years ago. For generations that have grown up on Company, Follies, A Chorus Line, Sweeney Todd, Dreamgirls, Rent, and Movin’ Out, there is nothing particularly surprising about a musical that tells much of its story through dance; a musical that integrates song, dance, drama and design into a seamless, cohesive whole; a musical without a conventional chorus; a musical in which two of the leading characters lie dead onstage at the end of the first act; a musical without an upbeat ending. But these were bold, revolutionary choices by Laurents, director/choreographer Jerome Robbins, composer Leonard Bernstein and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, when West Side Story premiered.

“Steve and I have always differed about what’s special about West Side Story,” says Laurents. “He says it’s the style. I think what’s different is it’s the first musical that showed anything can be a musical. We have death, we have murder, we have attempted rape, we have bigotry. None of that was in musicals. But they’re in this musical because that’s what the story is.”

Actually, both Sondheim and Laurents are correct: the show was different in both style and content. Together with Bernstein and Robbins, they pushed the boundaries of the Broadway musical, and in so doing, redefined an art form. The current production, directed and reconsidered by Laurents, provides audiences with an opportunity to discover – or rediscover – what all the excitement was about.

The seeds for West Side Story were sown in 1949 when Robbins became intrigued with the notion of updating and musicalizing Romeo and Juliet. He contacted Bernstein and Laurents, and told them of his idea for a show about a pair of star-crossed lovers doomed by the enmity between their people. The girl was to be Jewish, the boy Catholic, and the setting would be the East Side of Manhattan during Easter and Passover. Bernstein often said that the idea intrigued him; Laurents has long said that the idea did not interest him because it reminded him of Abie’s Irish Rose, a popular 1922 light comedy with a similar interfaith theme.

Several years later, Bernstein and Laurents ran into each other at the pool of the Beverly Hills Hotel, when they noticed a newspaper headline about Los Angeles gang fights between Mexicans and what Bernstein referred to as “self-styled” Americans. Similar hostilities were being played out on the streets of New York, including the West Side of Manhattan. It occurred to them that the clash of cultures between Puerto Ricans and “white” boys would provide more substantial subject matter for a modern-day Romeo and Juliet musical than Robbins’ earlier idea. When they contacted Robbins, he eagerly agreed.

Bernstein had originally intended to write the lyrics himself, but he soon realized that it wasn’t feasible. The artistic team then contacted Betty Comden and Adolph Green, who were out in Hollywood working on a movie musical and unavailable. Sondheim, who had yet to break through on Broadway, was the next choice, but he didn’t want the job. He was trying to establish himself as a composer, and was fearful of being pigeonholed solely as a lyricist if he took West Side Story. But Oscar Hammerstein II, his mentor, convinced the reluctant Sondheim that working with three distinguished talents would be an invaluable experience.

Laurents was already a successful playwright and screenwriter, but this was his first time working on a musical. “When I was a kid, there was a stock company near where we lived in Brooklyn and my cousins and I would go on Saturday afternoons,” he says. “I remember seeing No, No, Nanette, and I thought it was so exciting. I’ve always had a love for musicals, and I wanted to do one.”

The book he wrote is among the shortest – if not the shortest – ever written for Broadway. “I wrote for radio, and when you write for radio, you really learn economy,” he says. In West Side Story, the narrative is conveyed mostly through music and movement. But Laurents’ prose is the glue that holds all the elements together and the springboard for the poetry of Robbins, Bernstein, and Sondheim.

Given the harrowing nature of the show, its bleak depiction of urban life, it is not surprising that West Side Story was deemed a huge commercial risk. Numerous producers spurned the project until Cheryl Crawford and Roger L. Stevens got behind it. Six weeks before rehearsals were to begin, Crawford organized a backers audition to raise money for the show. “It was at an apartment on the East Side,” says Laurents. “There was no air conditioning, and you could hear the tugboats. She didn’t raise one penny.” A few days later, she pulled out. “Except for Roger, everybody thought the show was terrible. In fact, Roger had a great friend who owned a Broadway theater. And he said, ‘I’m not giving that theater to any opera.’”  In the end, Harold Prince, who had originally turned down the show, took on the project along with his partner, Robert E. Griffith, in arrangement with Stevens.

Rehearsals of West Side Story were invigorating, inspiring, and emotionally draining. Robbins was known as a perfectionist and a taskmaster, and he goaded, cajoled and browbeat the cast until he got what he was after. He wanted the actors to look like real people dancing, as opposed to dancers playing real people. He strove for a sense of naturalism, not only in the acting but in the choreography.

West Side Story was the first musical propelled by dance, by choreography that moved the plot forward and conveyed emotions that the Jets and Sharks were incapable of verbalizing. It was the first show in which every member of the chorus had a name and a clearly defined character, the first musical in which every chorus person was an individual. Robbins saw to it that each actor created a history for his or her character. He also gave the cast a great deal of material to work with. Part of the show’s authenticity stemmed from the fact that he spent time observing gang members in Spanish Harlem and Greenwich Village. He befriended some of the captains of the gangs, and some social workers. He read anything he could find about gang warfare, and posted articles on the subject all over the walls of the rehearsal studio, so that the cast would better understand what these groups were fighting about. Robbins also insisted that the actors playing the Jets and the Sharks be kept apart during rehearsals. He got the results he was after: members within a “gang” bonded with each other, and became somewhat alienated from the actors in the rival gang. Those feelings helped fuel their performances.

Robbins created a dance language unique to the show: much of the choreography is based more on street movement than on familiar dance steps, and there was a reason or emotion behind every movement, every gesture. And Laurents invented words and phrases for the gangs as a way of indicating their inarticulateness and as a substitute for four-letter words, which simply weren’t spoken onstage back then. “I don’t even think the audience is aware of it,” he says.

The premiere of West Side Story was generally well-received, although some critics respected the show more than they enjoyed it. The original production ran for 21 months, went out on tour, then returned to Broadway for an additional seven and a half months; in all, a decent, unexceptional run. But the show has had a remarkable afterlife. The 1961 movie – which Laurents dislikes – was a critical and commercial success, the recipient of 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film also brought widespread popularity to the score: the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack was No. 1 on Billboard’s album charts for an astonishing 54 weeks.

Over the years, the show has taken on legendary status, as it has influenced generations of choreographers, directors, composers, and lyricists to dare to be different. That was a byproduct, not the intention, of Laurents, Bernstein, Sondheim and Robbins. “If you’re going to tell a story with any degree of truth, you’ve got to go where the story takes you,” says Laurents. “And this is where the story took us. We weren’t thinking about changing anything. We just wanted to be good.”


10157232_10152182996176144_9184745997571506031_nThe Life In Color outdoor concertThe LIFE IN COLOR tour UNLEASH featuring Adventure Club, David Solano, Machine Gun Kelly, Cash Cash, Spyder Logic and White Vinyl Sky

The concert, sponsored by the Purdue Student Concert Committee to celebrate Grand Prix week, will take place Friday, April 25 from 6 p.m.-11 p.m. at the Purdue Rec Sports Parking Lot. The rain date for the performance will be April 27 at 6 p.m.


Due to heightened nationwide security considerations, the following information applies:
* This is an 18+ show, and IDs will be checked upon arrival.
* No food, beverages or alcohol will be permitted (water will be available for purchase).
* Please be prepared for a visual search upon arrival.
* No bags, purses or backpacks.
* Visibly intoxicated individuals will be refused admission.
* Purdue is a tobacco-free/smoke-free campus.
This is a four-hour dance party, so don’t weigh down your experience by bringing unnecessary items with you.
* Consider putting your cell phone, ID and essential valuables in a plastic bag that can fit in your pocket.

* Life in Color will provide a “Survivor Station” if you wish to check your cell phone, ID and other valuables in a secure location. For a $5 fee, Life in Color will tag your items and hold during the show. Your items can be collected immediately after the show.

Please be responsible campus citizens. Do not sit on furniture with wet clothing or body paint. Please clean up showers or washing machines after use.
For questions and the most up-to-date information, please contact Purdue Convocations Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit
Tickets are available at the Elliott Hall and Stewart Center box offices at (765)494-3933, 800-914-SHOW, or online at and

SXSW Review: BORN TO FLY features STREB

sxsw2014_borntofly__spanBy John Gholson

Late in the documentary Born to Fly, “pop action” choreographer Elizabeth Streb mentions wanting to expand the brand name recognition of her dance company. This film should certainly help. I’d never heard of Streb before this (not that I keep an eye on what’s happening in the avant-garde dance scene), and now I can’t stop thinking of Streb’s troupe. Streb dancers are perfect specimen daredevils, hurling themselves through glass, dodging spinning I-beams, and performing aerial ballet on the suspension wires of sky-high Ferris wheels for their art. In a world where Stomp, Blue Man Group, and Cirque du Soleil can sell out venues worldwide, you can see the commercial potential in Streb’s work as well as she does.

“Pop action” is the term Streb applies to her dancers’ abilities to land on any part of their body as it fits the piece. This kind of extreme physicality for entertainment’s sake is rarely seen outside of the world of pro wrestling. The dancers, all skilled gymnasts and from the impression given here, all interesting people in their own right, fling their bodies hard against unforgiving mats from impossible, spinning heights. There’s an artful precision to it, but ouch. It’s a career path that requires a disregard for your own personal pain threshold if you’re going to make it at all. Streb’s own feet look like ginger roots with toenails. One dancer accidentally scalps herself while flailing in a coffin-sized box suspended 20 feet in the air. This stuff takes a level of fortitude that many of us don’t have.

Born to Fly skillfully showcases Streb’s art, but also gives us some real insight into who she is and how she approaches movement with a nearly scientific fascination concerning spatial relationships between human bodies and the air around them. Director Catherine Gund’s film reveals Streb to be a compulsive and compassionate creator, surprisingly free of the kind of pretense you might expect from someone inventing new ways to dance. She’s not asking anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do (or hasn’t done) herself, and that inspires a kind of devotion that means that even when things go horribly wrong (as it does in the case of one former Streb dancer), the art still takes priority over the limits of the human body.

It’s extreme and it’s crazy and absolutely beautiful to watch. Gund has a great eye for this type of quick portrait, balancing all of the elements that are part of Streb’s story (her life, her company, the performances themselves) into a whole that is really exemplary documentary filmmaking. You find yourself invested and in the finale, when Streb walks down the glass dome of London’s City Hall herself, it’s as suspenseful as most narrative thrillers. In 82 too-quick minutes, I went from completely ignorant of Streb and her “action heroes” (the name she applies to her dancers) to becoming a big fan. Born to Fly is a must.

Review was originally featured here on 

Shakespeare’s Tragedies: Everybody Dies.


Want more Shakespeare? See HAMLET on March 29 at Loeb Playhouse!