Denver loves Matt Pond PA.
“It’s good to be reminded.”
“I know their name. But you know- it’s like- ‘I love you’. It’s good to be reminded.” he smiled as a collective “I love you Matt!” echoed from the audience.
Since 1998, New York based MPPA has been dropping consistently solid albums into the indie rock sphere. They’re currently on tour for the ten year anniversary of their sixth studio album, Several Arrows Later. Their sound is this: a hushed version of The Cure met up with a groovin’ drummer and one badass cello player. The hooks are catchy, the pulsing groove pulls you into each song, and the strings keep you floating next to Pond’s vocals.
Matt Pond PA set the mood the moment they walked onto the stage Tuesday night to The Cure’s “Pictures of You”. With the lights dimmed, the five-piece lineup was silhouetted against a golden backdrop reminiscent of the Several Arrows Later album artwork (and a simultaneous nod to the upcoming State of Gold). They fervently dove into the winding lyrics of “Halloween” with a tight hold on the kick and dreamy cello staccato. This was followed by “So Much Trouble”, which was my introduction to MPPA ten years ago and still stands as one of my most played songs of all time (thanks for that mixtape Greg Laut).
MPAA sinuously continued on, playing all of Several Arrows Later with bouncy energy and skilled musicianship. Their drummer Kyle Kelly-Yahner was killer and bass player Tierney Tough (coolest rocker-chick name maybe ever) added vibrant harmonies to some of the songs.
Following the album, Matt Pond PA played a few jams from their back catalogue and two new songs from upcoming State of Gold, one of which was the poppy, yearning “More No More”. It’s decidedly different from anything else from MPPA, but that’s been Matt’s style throughout his career.
After the final note rang out into the rainy night, I learned why Matt Pond PA has continually evolved with each album. I asked Matt what it’s like looking back to the conception of Several Arrows Later ten years ago. With a smirk he said, “I don’t know. I mean what have you been doing with your life for the last ten years? It’s like… you know you write these songs and you start out hating yourself but you learn to play them better and you learn to play for you.”
So maybe that’s it. Maybe State of Gold will show us what it’s like for MPPA to create something that they’ve learned to just play for themselves. But in the meantime, I’ll keep spinning Several Arrows Later. Because if there’s one thing I can tell you about listening to Matt Pond PA play one of their best albums live, it’s this: it’s good to be reminded.
Keep an ear out for State of Gold’s release on June 30th with Doghouse Records.
PS: Matt- Because we talked about it, I had to:
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.