matt pond PA | 10.14.06

Despite the fact that our cities' teams were at war, the audience welcomed the Brooklyn quintet and seemed to appreciate its set.


at Mississippi Nights, St. Louis


Matt Pond is not a rock star (there's a cellist in his band; what further proof do you need?), but he is a bit of a tortured artist. He does what he thinks is expected of him as the frontman for an indie rock band…but only to a point, and only when it suits him. As Pond and Co. took the stage Saturday night—during game three of the NLCS, which was being played just down the street—he announced to the crowd: "We're from New York. You're from St. Louis. Can't we just get along?" There were cheers, of course, as well as jeers, and the obligatory calls of "Pond scum!" in reference to the New York Mets (whom the Cardinals would go on to beat that night). "Hey," said Pond defensively." "Now you're dragging me into it." Touché.

Still, despite the fact that our cities' teams were at war, the audience—assembled largely in anticipation of headliners Gomez—welcomed the Brooklyn quintet and seemed to appreciate its set. "You're all seated so…politely," Pond remarked in between songs. And discounting the 20 or so of us on our feet up front, they were. Still, the audience listened, and clapped when appropriate.

For their 45-minute set, matt pond PA delivered a beautiful and diverse selection of songs from their five-disc catalog, including a handful—"Halloween," "So Much Trouble," and the title track—from their most recent offering, Several Arrows Later. Between songs, when tuning one of five Epiphone guitars otherwise lined up on a rack behind him, Pond dismissed small talk by saying, "Hold, please." Other times, he introduced songs with, "This is a song." The first time he said it, purposely omitting the song title, as expected, it was charming; by the third time, though, it was schtick. Slightly pretentious, yes. But having met the man on a couple of occasions, and having pored over his lyrics, I am guessing it's more social awkwardness than ego that drives his public persona.

I found myself at one point dancing and singing and thinking to myself, "I have never been happier." And realizing with a rush, it was true.

Photo by Jim Dunn. View the complete gallery here.

About Jim Dunn 126 Articles
Jim Dunn grew up in NY in the 70s and 80s. Even though that time in music really shapes his appreciation it does not define it. Music, like his beloved history is a long intermingled path that grows, builds and steals from its past. He lives in Colorado with his lovely wife and a wild bunch of animals.

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