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POND @ Fremantle Arts Centre gets 9.5/10


POND @ Fremantle Arts Centre
w/ Myriad Sun
Friday, February 11, 2022

9.5/10

You sort of had to be there.

Witnessing something like an outdoor festival headline act in 2022 seems something like a distant memory. But local heroes POND brought a massive show to Fremantle Arts Centre last Friday night, as if to remind us of times gone by.

It might not go down as Perth Festival’s most popular or publicised moment in 2022, but with its bold lighting show and cutting edge tunes, it might go down as this year’s best in show.

Myriad Sun

When it came to captivating acts, support Myriad Sun didn’t miss the memo. New to the local scene with just one online single they may be, but there’s enough star power care of Nelson “MC POW! Negro” Mondlane and his compatriots to suggest Myriad Sun are the real deal.

They certainly came dressed to impress, and if more people had come down early their costumes and body paint would’ve looked like winning the night, early on.

Their avant-garde weirdness had tunes to match, too, none better than 2021 RTR fave Hazard Waste, complete with its tasty saxophone interplay. From there they just got stranger as Mondlane stripped down to a tennis skirt and rapped harder and harder, until it was difficult to tell whether it was the face paint or him about to blow a gasket that was the reason for his bright red face.

POND

If POND made one mistake on Friday it was perhaps opening with America’s Cup. One of the best singles of 2021, plenty of people were excited to catch it but it was a little anticlimactic as it kicked off with little fanfare (this wasn’t helped by the number of people still queuing for drinks and food… the new layout didn’t do punters many favours but was an interesting change up – our suggestion is a second bar).

Everything else was seamless. Tasmania felt encore worthy just two tracks in, while Human Touch continued the hit parade. Never afraid to segue into weirdness themselves, frontman Nick Allbrook brought out a flute to kick off their eight-minute epic Burnt Out Star, as fans showed their appreciation with plumes of weed smoking out the Arts Centre.

POND

Sweep Me Off My Feet came in something of a deconstructed format, at least for the first verse – a new and improved version in the live arena; before Allbrook assured us their banger Pink Lunettes is “about absolutely nothing” and we danced along as if nothing ever mattered and the last two years never existed.

Paint Me Silver, Take Me Avalon I’m Young, Daisy, The Weather… no room for individual fan faves, sorry folks. All killer, no filler was the theme for the night… at least until the set’s finale. That’s when the real best of POND appeared as old epics like Giant Tortoise collided with an encore for the ages, POND joining their twin Pink Floyd-ian moments Edge of the World Pt 1 andEdge of the World Pt 2 into a seamless mega-whole.

POND

As we put our arms around one another’s shoulders and sang along to love-to-hate lyrics about Gina Rinehart, Lateline and the once proposed Roe 8 Highway extension, it became abundantly clear that not only were we at Perth Festival, but this was a festival for Perth.

HARVEY RAE

Photos by Cam Campbell

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