The people of Provo gathered at Velour Thursday night to see Rocky Votolato and Matt Pond PA play. Despite the stagnant and stifling atmosphere provided by some conservative Provo natives, both musicians performed well.---
Matt Pond PA sat for the performance because he broke his leg during the first week of the tour. Despite this small handicap, he put on a very lively show. All of the band members, including the cellist, played off of each other and were in sync throughout, which was interesting because the only consistent members of the band are Pond and Chris Hansen. For this tour, Votolato and Pond used the same drummer, guitarist and bass player. Pond played mostly songs off of his most recent album, The Dark Leaves, which was released in 2010. In addition, he also played "Love to Get Used," off of his most recent EP, Spring Fools. However, most members of the audience didn't really perk up until the last three songs: "Trouble," "Halloween" and "From Debris." All three are off of one of his more popular and well-known albums, Several Arrows Later, released in 2005. The most vocal the audience got during his set was when Pond slipped up and said the word fuck, which he quickly amended to fudge when someone yelled, "We don't say that word here."
The pace slowed down a bit with Votolato. Atthough the two acts are similarly wrapped around the acoustic guitar, Votolato's sound is geared toward the folk and country side of indie instead of the pop side, like Pond. For half of the set, Votolato played with the band, and then the other half he played solo. Votolato's soft vocals and guitar-playing skills made him a very compelling solo act to watch. Votolato played oldies like, "White Daisy" and "Gold Field," but also revealed some songs— "Blue Ship" and "Fools Gold"— that will be released on a new record next year.
All in all, the evening went well and the musicianship exhibited was quite wonderful, but to paraphrase Pond, a beer or drink might have been nice and made the night a bit more interesting. Although this particular genre isn't necessarily dance music, and the sound quality at Velour is always fantastic, no one can deny that any Salt Lake City venue could have thrown a better party. Maybe it's the mock stained-glass windows, but there's something about Velour that makes one feel like being in church.