Neighbor closed out the year with a post-Phish New Year’s celebration at New York’s Sony Hall on Friday, December 30th. The soulful jam quartet formed by childhood neighbors Richard James (Pink Talking Fish) on keyboard and vocals and Lyle Brewer on guitar along with Dan Kelly on bass and Dean Johnston on drums was joined by two background vocalists and a three-member horn section, thus making Neighbor 9.
With well-crafted, piano-driven compositions, substantial improvisations, and James’s rich baritone, Neighbor has carved out a new space in the jam scene with a sound all its own. In just three years, the band has attracted a devoted following that continues to grow with every performance, and Friday was no exception.
Even with local New Jersey upstarts Dogs In A Pile playing down the road at Cutting Room, Neighbor had no trouble drawing the late-night Phish crowd to Sony Hall, and with the addition of background vocals and horn arrangements, the band sounded bigger and better than ever.
“We had more than 700 people join us last night at Sony Hall in New York City,” the band shared in a social media post after the show. “Going from 200 people in New York, to 500, to 750 in our short 3 year career as a band strengthens our confidence as a group and continues to drive us to achieve our musical goals and growth. It’s great to know that multiple bands with crossover fan bases can all slam shows simultaneously in one night in the same city. The music scene is alive and well! Thank you Phish for bringing us all together.”
The band went on to thank the horns and background vocalists “for surprising the crowd … and suplimenting [sic] our sound with interesting complimentary [sic] parts and unlocking that next level energy that everyone needed at 2 AM.”
Neighbor kicked off the show with just the quartet, opening with “Great Barrier Reef” and then a sequence of “Yo Yo Ma” > “Broadway” > “He’s Not Me” > “The Longest Day” > “Trippin’ in a Van”. The band then welcomed the background vocalists and horns for the remainder of the set, which featured “What Should Will Never Be”, “Thunder Island”, “Terror For Free”, “Take Me Alive”, “Crashing Down” > “Don’t You Cry”, and “Cucamonga Carl”. After a riveting two-hour set, the nine-piece band returned to the stage and reflected on a year of growth before playing “Steel” as the final song of the night.
Check out full-show video and a gallery of photos from Neighbor at Sony Hall courtesy of photographer Jordan Eisman below.
Neighbor has upcoming tour dates including shows supporting Greensky Bluegrass and Umphrey’s McGee as well as headlining dates and festival appearances at Jam Cruise 19, Backwoods Music Festival, Northlands Music Festival, Electric Forest, and Floydfest. For more on Neighbor, including tour dates and ticketing details, visit the band’s website.
Setlist: Neighbor | Sony Hall | New York, NY | 12/30/22
Set: Great Barrier Reef, Yo Yo Ma > Broadway > He’s Not Me > The Longest Day > Trippin’ in a Van, What Should Will Never Be , Thunder Island , Terror For Free , Take Me Alive , Crashing Down  > Don’t You Cry , Cucamonga Carl 
Encore: Steel 
 The Neighbor Nine.