Gig Reviews

MGMT & Pond – Enmore Theatre, 10/03/11

I don’t remember the last time I stood in a line out the front of a concert where not one person slurred, burped, pushed or shoved. Then again, I don’t remember standing in a line of predominantly underage people for a very long time. It was quite a pleasant phenomenon…

In other words, the crowd were initially a little conservative for your standard music concert, but everyone seemed to loosen up the minute Pond came onstage.

Pond . 90% Tame Impala . 10% plain weird. But somehow, it works brilliantly. This eclectic little group – donned in bright green genie pants, afro’s & open vests – gave no doubt the performance of the night. And they were only the support act.

A little background: Basically these boys are the side project of Perth band Tame Impala , showcasing Nick Albrook, Jay Watson – Tame’s drummer, Joseph Orion, Kevin Parker, and The Silents’ Jamie Terry. It’s been said that Pond began under a mulberry tree in a quiet suburb in Perth, where 3 of the crew threw around the idea of playing at a party later that night… To date, Pond have made three albums, Psychedelic Mango, Corridors of Blissterday and Frond.

Their most invaluable assets:

1.The quirky front liner.

2.Their obscure sense of dress. I haven’t seen that many open overalls since the pre-school days.

These guys had a sense of energy that could only be compared to those on Ritalin. The skinny lead singer flailed about onstage with some of the most creative & gauche moves I’ve seen in a long time. Shoulder pops, awkward half-jumps & a constant desire to flip his shirt around his torso. Definitely entertaining.

The performance was half stand-up comedy, half musical performance. These boys had such a sense of casual familiarity onstage that you couldn’t help but admire their cheeky style. Musically – there were some great pieces, and you didn’t hear this from me, but it wouldn’t be surprising if these boys make it further than Tame Impala itself!


I won’t lie, the build-up wasn’t short. Yet it was pretty spectacular when the lights revealed psychedelic partners Andrew VanWyngarden & Ben Goldwasser centre stage in the intimate Enmore Theatre space, whistling Pieces of What into mouth organs..

It set the tone for a wondrously translucid, slightly magical performance.

And I think we can all agree that’s what these boys do best. They certainly didn’t have Ponds’ insane level of energy or that typical overarching desire to creatively outdo other artists. These guys play an innocent set, heads down, & perform each song in just the way you hope & expect each song to be played. No surprises here. But there is an undeniably good vibe. Goosebumps twice in one show ought to be a fair indicator.

They played out a few new numbers, & lingered over some pretty enchanting instrumentals but didn’t dare disappoint the crowd & neglect the biggies; Kids, Electric Feel & The Youth. Given the excited squeals that echoed around the room, I think it’s safe to say that these guys have a pretty strong following.

All in all, the predictability of their set was not actually a negative – there are some bands that get it right, and others that don’t. These guys got their songs right the first time round – so why would they risk fucking things up in live experimentation?

Altogether, quite an innocent gig. But worth it.

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