Three years later, Glenn has decided to get back on a proper headlining tour targeting theaters in the 1,200 to 1,800 range and playing a full set with songs from Neon Trees’ last album like “Used to Like,” “Mess Me Up” and “Nights.” He also opted to schedule the tour for the fall to avoid the crowded summer frenzy.
“It’s a concrete effort to turn the lights back on for us and get out there,” Glenn said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s a small tour. It’s only 18 cities. The rooms are sizable but kind of intimate. We’re excited. It’s going to be a good experience. I’m crossing my fingers. You never know these days.”
Glenn said he needed time away from the band a few years back to grapple with coming out and the ramifications of that.
“I really had to pick up the pieces after I blew it up in a lot of ways,” he said. “I wasn’t healthy in that space. I knew it wasn’t for me.”
He said he had to rebuild his viewpoints on faith “and getting to know myself in a way without a lens or ceiling or box. My whole life was brought up in constrained ways. It’s really cool to look back and think, ‘Wow! You were like half a person for the first 31 years of your life!’ I carried a lot of water for a faith that didn’t have space for me.”
He’s been working to become that full human being: “It’s reflected in my songwriting. It’s reflected in my advocacy for the queer community. I’ve been learning to shut up and learn. I am almost 40 and it’s wild. It proves time is nothing and made up. I don’t feel it. I might look like it!”
For his bandmates, Glenn said it was awkward for a time: “But I think we have a common love for what this band has done for our lives. What we all feel when we play together, that’s the common denominator. We still play well together. I don’t want to say this lightly but we are all kind of in love with each other. We are grateful getting through the last few years and we’re still getting to do this. We haven’t had to get another job. That’s kind of a miracle for a band our size. We may not be the biggest, but we’ve had success.”
During the pandemic, the band rented a studio in Salt Lake City for 18 months and did streaming concerts galore. “The worst part was the end of a song,” he said. “No applause. And you can’t see anyone! We did what we had to do.”
Since then, although Neon Trees had not booked a real tour in years, Glenn said their hit songs have enabled them to play a raft of weekend corporate gigs, colleges and festivals to keep the money flowing in. “We aren’t divas,” he said. “We show up on time and play our [expletive] well.”
Neon Trees doesn’t have any deep Atlanta ties but back on Labor Day 2011 the band did a Red Bull SoundClash concert with Atlanta’s Ludacris at the Georgia World Congress Center. “Luda had to learn our songs and we had to do Ludacris songs,” Glenn said. “It was a really bizarre mashup and ended up being so much fun. We did ‘My Chick Bad’ and a couple of other ones. He was with our label. It was a little family feud. I maintain we won. It felt like we surprised the crowd.”
Glenn said Neon Trees is very much part of his DNA and isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
“I am kind of the mastermind,” he said. “I think I’ve definitely taken the reins. I gladly do it. All my bandmates have kids and families. I remain single. I’m sort of married to the band.”
8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23. $29.50-$49.50. Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road NE, Atlanta. livenation.com.