Review: Pond crisp, ravishing in San Francisco

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Nick Allbrook, Pond, Nicholas Allbrook

Photos: Diana Cordero

SAN FRANCISCO – Pond brought a ravishing intensity with its performance at the Great American Music Hall Tuesday

The Australian psychedelic rock band performed a high-energy 12-song set highlighted a strong heavy rock presence and incorporating upbeat synths to produce ’70s-infused melodies.

The band opened with “30,000 Megatons,” off its forthcoming sixth album, The Weather. Thunderous synths and high-pitched vocals by singer-guitarist Nick Allbrook summoned the crowd to groove to roaring guitar riffs and crashing drums. Funky beats and twinkling tunes courtesy of keyboardist Jamie Terry slid into the song as he slid his hips from side to side.

From “Whatever Happened to the Million Head Collide,” off 2013’s Hobo Rocket, to 2016 single “Sweep Me Off My Feet,” Pond didn’t leave concertgoers a second to catch their breaths. The rock quartet performed with high-intensity from start to finish, fusing songs together to create a jam session vibe. The band had a generous variety of new releases and fan favorites, but did not include its first two albums, Psychedelic Mango and Frond. At least one-third of the set consisted of new material.

Pond has stepped into the limelight, escaping the shadows of Tame Impala. Allbrook bounced across the stage, climbing pillars to serenade audience members in the back. It was evident he enjoys experimenting with a variation of styles. Jay Watson, another Tame Impala veteran, stood center stage, integrating blaring bass riffs with fuzzy synths.

A major factor of the quality of Pond’s performance was the impeccable sound produced. Whether it was Great American Music Hall’s magnified speakers or Pond’s sound crew, the sound was crisp rather than saturated. Pond had the ability to mesh its upbeat synths with Led Zeppelin-inspired rock riffs effortlessly. As Hobo Rocket’s “Giant Tortoise” blared through the overhead speakers, every instrument contributing to the piece exploded into its own  masterpiece.

Setting the tone for the evening, Kirin J. Callinan resembled a character from The Matrix, with long leather trench coat and aviator sunglasses. Callinan gave the audience an opportunity to laugh. Between each song, he cracked a joke. He carried this charisma throughout his songs as well, using satire not unlike Father John Misty.

Follow columnist Ruby Virchow at Twitter.com/RubyVirchow

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