The Australian psych rock project Pond made a stop in New Orleans for a sold out performance at Gasa Gasa last Tuesday. With support from New York artist Fascinator, it was a spacey performance that thrilled the audience.
Pond’s sunny, psy-funk sound swallowed the wall-to-wall crowd of the small venue in Uptown. Portraits of David Bowie looked on as Pond’s frontman, Nick Allbrook, emerged to a cheering crowd in a neon blue fishnet shirt.
The group opened with some hard hitters off of their popular 2015 album Man It Feels Like Space Again. Extended instrumentals during songs like “Elvis’ Flaming Star” and “Sitting Up On Our Crane” showed the group’s ability to indulge in far-out visions, but with technical precision.
Each song evoked enraptured cheers from the audience. During one interlude Allbrook hopped in to the crowd to join a small dance circle. He was swiftly lifted onto everyone’s shoulders for a quick crowd surf before landing lightly back on stage.
“I was trying to stop against that wall and start twerking a bit, but maybe next time,” he joked in his Perth accent. The other boys constantly praised the city of New Orleans and cracked jokes about crawfish between tracks.
Other highlights included a special performance of the track “Don’t Look at the Sun or You’ll Go Blind” from their very first album Psychedelic Mango from 2009, and the “Tomorrow Never Knows” level extended outro of “Man It Feels Like Space Again.”
As a psychedelic group, Pond has all the capabilities of becoming an over-the-top, absurdly indulgent, nonsensical idea. But as a group of musicians that have spent more than a decade together, they’re able to negate the potential pitfalls of jam bands.
They’re rooted in solid rock bones and funk flourishes. The band showed uncanny technical precision, especially for a live performance. They’ll spin a track on its head at an instant. It’s nonlinear crescendo to a funky space wonderland, but in the sturdiest spaceship ever built.
The small area of Gasa Gasa provided an intimate performance. The high energy of the crowd made it an exciting performance. Pond turned it in to an extravagant performance.
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