Tuesday night at St. Paul’s The Turf Club was really the place to be. Once again spring has sprung in the Twin Cities which means Minnesotans are looking for any reason to get out of the house. Get out of the house and shake off our cabin fever that’s been building from months of snow, ice and gloomy days. Tuesday evening in St. Paul was warm, sunny and the perfect night for a cold beer and some live music. Two great Australian bands stopped by the iconic Turf Club – Kirin J. Callinan and Pond for a vibey evening.
When I walked up to the Turf Club shortly before 8:00 pm I spotted a lanky, cowboy hat wearing figure. Being the friendly Minnesotan I am, I introduced myself and found out it was the opening act Kirin J Callinan. Some people have that look that screams “I am in a band” and Callinan is definitely one of those people. Callinan and band introduced themselves through thick and charming Australian accents. Maybe it’s the shit show that is currently playing out in Washington D.C. right now but there is something intoxicatingly refreshing about anyone not from America. After exchanging pleasantries I made my way inside, followed by Callinan to kick off the evening.
Acid country. Drug-fueled glam pop. Experimental rock. Comedic gold. Whatever you want to call it, Callinan’s set was 40 minutes of pure, unabashed entertainment. From the bolo-tie and spurs to an accordion player with model-good looks, it was an indulgent slice of psych-rock heaven. Callinan kicked off the set solo before being joined on stage by his band. The set somehow went from good to better to best with each and every song. A stand out moment was Callinan’s latest single S.A.D. (Song About Drugs), which a 100% certified banger. Add this one to your summer playlist and stat kiddos. As mysteriously as Callinan begin his set, he closed it. Solo on stage. Stripping off the bolo tie. And hat. And vest. And shirt (the pants stayed) for a shirtless, music-less finale. “Use your imagination for this one,” Callinan said as he danced around the stage, no instrumental backing.
Pond played their roughly hour-long set with that ease and finesse of a major touring band,
but with a freshness and energy of a band on their first major tour. Polished yet fresh. A genuine love of what they were doing dripped off Pond’s every move. It was refreshing to say the least. Taking breaks in between songs to talk about how much they love the Twin Cities and can’t wait to come back, I think it’s safe to say the feeling of adoration was mutual last night between Pond and the Turf Club. Frontman Nick Allbrook was a force of nature, a true showman, oh and not one bit shy. Jumping down in the crowd, sitting on the monitors, he sure knows how to put on one hell of a show. Pond’s current lineup also features Jay Watson on guitar/keys and vocals with Shiny Joe Ryan on guitar and Jamie Terry on keys/synth. Each of these dudes are wildly talented multi-instrumentalists, and again, just know how to put on a damn good show. Trippy vocals, layered over heavy guitars and synths psychedelic keys. Psychedelic-ier lights splashing against canvas screen. Psych-punk’s finest. That was the scene at Pond’s show on Tuesday night at the Turf Club. It was a trippy and vibey evening, drugs optional.
Pond continues their tour in support of their new album The Weather due out this Friday.
Set List: 30,000 Megatons / Elvis’ Flaming Star / Waiting Around For Grace / Million Head Collide / Sweep Me Off My Feet / Don’t Look At The Sun / Crane / Paint Me Silver / Giant Tortoise / Man It Feels Like Space Again / You Broke My Cool / The Weather