Ten years ago, Neon Trees were a flagship Velour band one year away from the release of their career-making single “Animal.” As a tribute to the band–and other artists that play there–Noah Ruble and his backing band ended their set with a cover of the hit song.
Noah said the cover was his father’s idea.
“I love Neon Trees and it just felt right to play their first hit song at the 13-year anniversary [show] since they started out playing at Velour,” Noah said. “I am convinced that ‘Animal’ is one of the best songs to ever come out of Utah.”
Ruble and his band, also called Ruble, were invited to perform at one of two 13th anniversary shows on January 11. The band played about 30 minutes of their brand of indie pop, some of which, Noah said, was influenced by several concert attendees.
The headliner, Pinguin Mofex, is fronted by Nate Pyfer, an adjunct professor at UVU who has long been an active participant in the Provo music scene. Also in attendance were members of Velour veteran bands The Moth & The Flame and Fictionist.
“I’ve been listening to these bands for years and look up to them so much,” Noah said. “To be in the same room was unreal! I’ve been to countless shows to see these artists, and to play a show in the same lineup as them was such an honor.”
Noah recently recorded two singles with producer Stuart Maxfield of Fictionist, which Noah said brought out “a new element” he “couldn’t have done before”.
In addition to his band of regulars–his father, who plays bass, and drummer Porter “Detective” Deckard–Noah enlisted his sister, Natasha Hanneman, and his cousin and former UVU student, Danielle Rees, to sing backup vocals for the first time.
He said their presence with the band was a natural fit.
“We’ve been singing together since we were babies,” Noah said. “It was so much fun to have them up on stage because they come to every show and have been some of my biggest supporters. … they know all the lyrics already.”
Ruble released a four-song, self-titled EP in 2018 through Valo Records. The tracks, which vary from hook-heavy groovecore (“It’s Been a While”) to dream pop (“Dear Humanity”), garnered enthusiastic engagement from the audience–which, combined with the band’s performance, led Noah to cite it as “probably the best show” they’ve played together.
“I’ve definitely noticed more dedication from my listeners, which is so cool,” Noah said. “It was crazy to hear all the people singing along because my whole music journey started with me just recording songs in my parents basement for fun.
Noah, a prolific home recorder, said he is working on over 30 songs, including several with producers from his current label, Warner/Chappell. He plans to release a four-song EP in the next few months.