Neon Dreams’ Corey LeRue

Neon Dreams’ Corey LeRue

Haligonians Neon Dreams are living the dream as they tour new EP, To You

Marching Bands band Neon Dreams is ready for its return visit to the Okanagan with shows in Kelowna and Vernon.



Back in the ‘90s, Halifax was a hub for the independent, alternative music scene not only in the Maritimes, but all over Canada.

The Nova Scotia capital was the Seattle of the north-east and served as a breeding ground for artists such as Sloan, Buck 65, The Inbreds, The Super Friendz, Hip Club Groove, Jale, and Thrush Hermit, the latter led by some guy named Joel Plaskett before he started the Emergency.

“The East Coast music scene is still a pretty happening place,” says Corey LeRue, whose Halifax-based band Neon Dreams is currently touring the country in support of its new EP, To You.

The band stops in Kelowna Friday, Nov. 4 and Vernon Saturday, Nov. 5.

“Halifax has its own characteristic. It’s an old city and the music reflects that, but it is also diverse,” said LeRue, a DJ/producer, who designs all the beats for the band and also provides vocals.

Neon Dreams reflects that diverse musical style. The band combines electronic dance music (EDM) with live instrumentation and vocals. LeRue puts it best when he says, “think Calvin Harris with Imagine Dragons,” adding  Linkin Park is also a big influence.

“They were innovators, but we have a very different sound from them. Their DJ was more of an accent, where we have a DJ front and centre.”

Neon Dreams formed around seven years ago after LeRue and drummer Adrian Morris attended band class together in high school.

“I was on trumpet and he was on percussion while the other two guys (lead vocalist Frank Kadillac and guitarist Matt Gats) attended a different high school together,” said LeRue. “We were all instrumentalists. While I was always DJing and making beats they were making rock music.”

The chemistry between the four musicians gelled and soon they were playing shows around Halifax and writing songs.

“Our songwriting is super-weird. It either starts two ways: Frank has a vocal melody with two chords to start with and the guys structure around it, or we come in with the instrumental and work around it. We’ve now been working together for a long time so it’s becoming easier and more organic,” said LeRue.

Neon Dreams’ style and flow have been garnering the band a lot of attention.

Their 2015 breakthrough single, Love Experts, climbed its way onto Billboard’s CHR (contemporary hit radio) Top 40 chart and iTunes’ Top 10 electronic chart and they were named as CBC Music’s Top 25 Musicians Under 25 in 2016 and won the 2015 Bell Media Future Star award.

They are also one of the first EDM acts signed to hip hop artist Waka Flocka Flame’s label 36BRICKHOUSE and the band’s latest single, Marching Bands, features a verse by Toronto hip hop legend Kardinal Offishal.

The lead single off of To YouMarching Bands has garnered more than two million streams on Spotify to date, and broke CHR’s Top 40 chart and garnered Neon Dreams the title as Rogers Radio “One To Watch.”

“We’re not a hip hop group at all so I can’t pinpoint what it is that has us working with all these artists, but I’ve heavily listened to hip hop a lot,” said LeRue. “Waka was going into electronic music and had worked with (Israeli DJ/dubstep producer) Borgore and we met him in Halifax and ended up working together. It’s got us a lot of public attention.”

More recently, the band was named one of three winners of the 2017 Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class at this year’s Juno awards.

An artists’ development program, approximately 100 to 200 acts apply annually to the master class, which is endorsed by music industry professionals.

“When we got to the top 10 it was a boost to our confidence,” said LeRue. “We did a showcase during Junofest in Calgary, and got to experience all of the Junos, which was a big deal for us.”

The band also spent a week in Toronto, visiting Coalition Music as well as the city’s Facebook and Twitter offices and did an industry showcase at the HMV underground.

“All this has helped us with our performance,” said LeRue.

Neon Dreams is ready for its return visit to the Okanagan, having last been here in August when the band did a radio promo tour for Marching Bands

“We will have the whole stage set up this time with all the energy and electronic influences,” said LeRue.

Neon Dreams plays Sapphire Night Club in Kelowna Friday, Nov. 4, with Phil Paquette (DJ set), winner of Big Brother Canada Season 4.

Purchase tickets at https://etixnow.com/events/neon-dreams/nov-4-2016/sapphire-night-club or pick them up at the venue.

The band plays Status Night Club in Vernon Saturday, Nov. 5. Doors open at 10 p.m. and tickets are $10 or $40 with a meet and greet.

Order them at etixnow.com/events/neon-dreams/nov-5-2016/status-nightclub