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POND at Lee's Palace | Review and Photos

Australian Psych-Rock Band Pond from Perth, Australia played Lee's Palace in Toronto earlier this week.

Active since 2008, Pond is comprised of Nick Allbrook (lead vocals and guitar), Jay Watson (bass, synths and vocals), Shiny Joe Ryan (lead guitar and vocals), Jamie Terry (Keyboards, synths and vocals), and James Ireland (drums). Pond is well known for being closely affiliated with the popular Australian psych-rock band Tame Impala, as past and present members are long-time friends and frequent collaborators.

Pond’s December 4th performance at Lee’s Palace was the group’s first time returning to Toronto since 2018, where they played at the Opera House. Los Angeles three-piece band Cryogeyser was the supporting act.

Pond kicked off the night with an upbeat track, “America’s Cup”, featured on their 2021 studio album 9. The song made a great first impression, leaving the crowd excited for more. The band immediately followed with a faster track called “Rambo” (also found on album 9). During the performance, Nick Allbrook notably used a miniature megaphone as a vocal effect. Other notable tracks include “Waiting Around For Grace” and “Paint Me Silver”.

Pond’s set was one of the most impressive acts I have personally seen recently. The band consistently brought high energy and enthusiasm to their performance. Pond routinely made efforts to engage with the crowd, with singer Nick Allbrook noting that their Toronto performance was their “best show of the tour so far.” Another observation I made was that Pond has cultivated a fantastic audience that was respectful towards both the band and fellow concertgoers.

Pond’s performance was tight and punchy. The mix was fantastic, as every instrument cut through with a lot of clarity. As a guitar player myself, Shiny Joe Ryan’s performance stuck out positively to me. He is an incredibly versatile performer, effortlessly incorporating various playing styles from palm-muted rhythmic chords and intricate picking lines, to atmospheric ambient chords and whaling solos. Singer Nick Allbrook made great use of vocal processing throughout the show as well. Incorporating elements like delays and saturation gave his vocals a lot of depth in the mix.

For anyone who enjoys psychedelic rock, Pond is a must-see show. Click here to listen to the deluxe edition of their most recent album “9” on Spotify.

Photos by Gemma Mastroianni


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