“Mondays are the new Saturday!” an overly enthused audience member belted out during last night’s Matt Pond PA concert at the 9:30 Club. While lead singer Matt Pond laughingly dismissed the statement, his band’s performance did manage to put some spark into the dreaded start of the week.
Following freak folk singer Jesca Hoop—who sounded interesting but was hard to take seriously dressed in a gown entirely made of newspapers—Matt Pond PA wasted no time getting the audience riled up: Such favorites as “So Much Trouble” and “Several Arrows Later” were performed back to back, with new crowd pleasers (“People Have a Way” and “Taught to Look Away”) from its latest album, Last Light, thrown into the mix as well.
Though most of the set was drawn from Last Light and the band’s previous album, Several Arrows Later, precious tracks like “KC” and “Lily Two,” from earlier CD Emblems, were also performed. Over the course of more than five records, the band has been through some changes, but its sound remains the same—simple but catchy pop/rock tunes layered with guitars and cello. In fact, you may already be familiar with the band without realizing it—its cover of Oasis’s “Champagne Supernova” got it onto the once-popular television show The O.C.
Whether repeatedly thanking the audience for showing up on a Monday night, kindly laughing off obscure song requests, or simply sighing heavily into his microphone, Pond was both extremely personable and hilarious, making the occasionally stiff audience/band banter feel effortless. Drummer Dan Crowell’s uncanny resemblance to Garth from Wayne’s World only added to the comical effect.
“Is this normal? We’re just trying to make you happy,” Pond jokingly asked the audience before closing the night with the encore “Halloween.” Normal? Not by a long shot. But happy? Very much so.