For the first time, Behind the Hype is welcoming its first guest writer. Sarah has the fire in her heart to write, and wanted to share her show experience of Matt Pond PA with us from a couple weeks back. Thank you Sarah!

Orange County may have a reputation for trophy wives and Lamborghinis but the area is fast becoming known for its surfacing music, art, and fashion obsession.  Enter Detroit Bar of Costa Mesa, a hip hangout somewhere between a bar, lounge, and intimate music venue.  The scene is famous for featuring rising indie talent.  Detroit Bar certainly scored with Matt Pond PA on June 16th.

The concert was one of eighteen shows of Matt Pond PA’s tour for The Dark Leaves, released in April.  I have been a fan of Matt Pond PA’s work for some years now as were my accompanying besties, Negien and Cheryl, and my man, Long.

Kicking off the night was Lanterns of San Diego, California.  Their sweet punk tunes and all-star performance had a seductive garage-band flare. Tour-mates Wintersleep, of Canada came on next.  Vocal front man Paul Murphy wooed the audience with his Paul Banks of Interpol-esk voice.  The group’s excellent harmonizing and haunting melody energized the crowd.

The atmosphere in the bar flipped and electrified as Matt Pond PA stepped onto the stage.   Matt’s greeting was informal and to the point – he was going to play some songs, by him.  The first song, “Everything Until the East Coast Ends” from the 2007 EP If You Want Blood softly introduced the bands trademark steady, sorrowful allure.

Matt Pond PA’s songs stood in stark contrast to the opening two bands’ comparatively harsher sounds.  Each song was like a melodic oasis, trickling over the listeners’ ears.

The band’s tunes are infused with wisdoms and humility.  Matt’s humble nature was evident in his nonchalant investigation of an audio issue at the start of the show.  He got down on his hands and knees in search of the problem, despite having the tech crew already on the case.  The songs’ sincere and deep lyrics drive home Matt Pond’s own humbleness.

Chris Hansen’s perfect picking-style was seriously impressive.  Matt would occasionally glance over at Chris, apparently in awe of his fiery guitar skills.  Bassist George Souleidis and drummer Aram Deradoorian anchored every song.   The two were also occasionally the subjects of Matt’s playfulness when he decided to shake and rattle their instruments gleefully. In the middle of the concert Matt had to defend his green shirt (the Lakers were set to play the Celtics the next night for the 2010 playoff championship).  The singer surprised the audience with his witty reply discussing the unanimous support Lakers fans lend to a certain star player of the team despite his infidel behavior, dubbed by Matt as “the big rapist.”  He then insisted on not bothering much about sports typically, glugged some beer, and explained that he was going to “play some more songs we play”. The harmonizing between Matt Pond and Leslie Sisson was completely captivating.  Leslie Sisson’s super-rich guitar notes struck deep in each song, particularly in the song “New Hampshire”.  The band performed a treat of songs across a wide array of their albums.

The set list for the gig:

Everything Until the East Coast Ends

The Dark Leaves Theme

From Debris

So Much Trouble (probably their most famous /popular)


Grave’s Disease


People Have a Way

New Hampshire

Giving it All Away

Brooklyn Stars



Wild Girl

Halloween (my personal favorite) By the end of the performance the fans grew brave and began to fervently shout requests to the surprise of the band members.  Matt even asked how the audience knew of some of the songs. For the encore the band played two of these requests including the upbeat single, Lily Two. It was bliss.

It was such a trip witnessing the members of Matt Pond PA play out their art in person.  Please don’t hesitate to catch this chill band and their fresh, exhilarating sound in concert.

See you there.

-Broke in the OC