Drifting off with Neon Dreams

Union Gallery

Halifax band rocks Mansion with vibrant pop tunes

Neon Dreams at a photo shoot. 
Credit: 
Supplied by Wiki Commons

If you ask Neon Dreams what’s important in life, chances are they’ll mention a party.

On June 17, the band played a raucous set of electronic, dance and pop music to a small crowd at the Mansion. Featuring vocalist Frank Kadillac, guitarist Matt Gats, Adrian Morris on drums with DJ/vocalist Corey LeRue, Neon Dreams know their values: unselfconscious fun for themselves and their fans. 

Their journey started off in a high school music room when Kadillac asked Gats and Morris to join his existing band. Five years later, American rapper, Waka Flocka Flame signed them to his record. In the aftermath, they garnered a 2016 Juno Awards of Master Class, had a single that reached spot 15 on the Canadian Top 40 charts and had their music featured on Keeping up with the Kardashians.

“The goal was to reach top and it was hard to reach it but we did it ourselves by playing what we wanted to play. We believed in the song and ourselves,” Morris said.

There’s a brotherly dynamic between the band members as they tease each other constantly, often about their touring misadventures.

They singled out the night Morris, craving pizza, decided to experiment with convenience store.

It didn’t end well.

“For time constraints, it did not sit well in my stomach,” Morris said as he recalled the challenging night of inedible pizza and indigestion. “After that fun event, I have stayed away from 7/11 pizza.” 

Gats and Kadillac laughed at the memory as they poked fun at Morris.

The audience was sparse as they stepped on stage at their Mansion performance. To his credit, Kadillac made a determined effort to involve the audience while delivering a strong vocal performance. Likewise, Morris laid down steady, danceable beats to compliment Gats’s  melodic guitar work, allowing the audience to take part and enjoy themselves despite their numbers. 

The individual band members became one cohesive unit, encouraging each other and attendees to keep their energy up. 

The single, “Marching Bands” showcased the band’s hook-driven song writing skills that sent them on a cross-country tour last year. The song was polished, benefitting from the audience’s instant recognition and a crowd-pleasing chorus. All four members were jamming like they were back practicing in that high school music room – their joy was infectious.

All four members came alive on stage, thriving on the unpretentious sense of fun shared between them and their fans. 

Their complete shift from goofing off backstage to a well-honed pop act brought a smile to my face. Witnessing their transformation from Gats, Morris, LeRue and Kadillac into Neon Dreams sold the show for an adoring crowd — while successfully avoiding 7/11’s pizza. 

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