Pond: Wonderful and Weird at the Royale

By Jonas Gerken

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Pond is the beautiful psychedelic rock band of the 80s that never was. Featuring members of the touring version of Tame Impala, Pond’s synthy and rhythmic grooves, distinct high vocals, and vibrant wardrobes have given them a strong cult following, and they showed why at the Royale.

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Pond took the stage in a very nonchalant manner: drinks in hand, smiles on their faces, emanating comfort and relaxing vibes. The anxious concertgoers finally loosened up as lead singer Nick Allbrook took to the mic with his distinct Australian accent.

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In stark contrast to their entrance, Pond dropped a bomb on the loyal and energetic crowd, starting with “30,000 Megatons”, the first song off their 2017 album “The Weather”. Nick Allbrook was emotional and violent, at one point bleeding from his forehead. Pond’s simple, bright visuals and the raw energy of their set had even the middle-aged crowd moving for the whole night. “Shiny” Joe Ryan sported a vibrant reflective jacket that came straight out of an 80’s sci-fi film, and dazzled the crowd. The show then settled in as the aggressive bright blue lighting faded to a mellow green, and the band moved into some of their more melodic music. “Sweep Me Off My Feet” did just what the title of the track implies, as the crowd was carried away into a synthy and wavy soundscape.  Pond also played some of their older music from 2015 record Man It Feels Like Space Again and the 2013 project Hobo Rocket. “Giant Tortoise” had the crowd on their feet, dancing and headbanging to the blistering guitar licks.

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Pond’s set was also full of unique audience participation. At one point during the show a fan shouted up at the stage, “Poncho at a Pond show!” and presented Allbrook with a large, muddy colored poncho. In a touching moment, Allbrook briefly sported the look and gave a bouquet resting on the mic to the ecstatic fan. A round of applause burst out, as people turned to each other smiling and laughing. At one point, Allbrook took to the floor, surfing the crowd and belting out a loud and passionate scream. During their penultimate tune, a member of the audience yelled, “Get on my shoulders!” Sure enough, Allbrook mounted the fan and toured around the floor, giving high fives and hugs. In all, Pond delivered a wonderfully weird performance that showed the audience that great music can be a beautiful community experience.

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