|05-Feb-2007 02:36 am||Contributed by: pete||Concert Reviews|
Pony Up! is an all-girl four piece band out of Montreal, an epicentre of Canadian indie-pop music. Their music is light, yet complex enough to keep your interest, and the lyrics are authentic, if not even a little confessional. I suspect these are the reasons Pony Up! attracts a largely female audience. However, even though the band has an overall cuteness, there is definitely sexuality emitted during their stage performance, which easily explains the male fans and their audacious behaviour that made for some bizarre moments.
To begin with, there were two guys wearing toques and sunglasses, one carrying a small 8"x10" sign that read "Pony Up! You give me creamy jeans". Laura (lead vocals, keyboard) acknowledged the small poster early in the show saying it was the first time anyone had ever made a sign for them. With beautiful bright eyes, a girl-next-door look, and wearing a ring on a ribbon around her neck, she would occasionally back away from the keyboard to dance along with the music. When she was playing, she would sing with so much emotional investment that you could see physical manifestations of her passion. The other band members each have their own personality and look - Sarah (guitar, vocals) with her nose ring and tattoos (and still cute), Lisa (bass) with her not-so-naughty schoolgirl outfit, and Lindsay (drums) with her down-to-earth demeanour. Put it all together on stage, and you've got a combination that creates some frenzied male fans.
In addition to the "creamy jeans" sign, there were at least a couple of older men near the front watching the show with an intense focus (and, yes, I suppose I could be counted in this category). A few songs in, one of the men - a foreigner who's birthplace I will not attempt to guess - felt so strongly about what was happening on stage that he attempted to give Laura a twenty dollar bill. Laura said she couldn't accept it, but even though she wouldn't take it, he placed it on her keyboard. At that point, someone in the crowd yelled "Twenty more and you'll be getting a San Francisco" (at least, that's what I heard). There was some back and forth between Laura and the audience attempting to decipher what was said and what it meant, and when she finally gave up, she spouted "This is the strangest show we've ever played". The $20 stayed on the keyboard for part of a song and then finally got knocked to the floor where it stayed until the set ended. When they stopped playing, Laura handed the bill back to the man telling him she couldn't accept it, and he finally agreed take it back when she urged him to buy a t-shirt or other merchandise with it.
After the last scheduled song, the girls started to pack up their equipment, but the crowd was so insistent with their chant for one more song, that Pony Up! was given an opportunity to unpack, plug back in, and play a one-song encore. After yet another well played song, they started to pack up again, during which some other enamoured male fans made an offer to Sarah to join them at a party.
This was really the first taste I've had of Pony Up! and their music, but I completely enjoyed their style and stage presence, and found myself really getting into a few of the songs. There was one particular song that stood out, so I pulled my camera away from my face, stood back a bit, and just watched. It was beautifully played and, as mentioned before, performed with sincere emotional investment. I purchased their CD today, and I'll be playing it while I edit the photos to accompany this review.
I know I say this about a lot of bands I review, but when I say it, I always mean it: Go see this band. If you're a lover of Montreal-style indie-pop, I guarantee you will not be disappointed with their live performance. So get out there and give Pony Up! some love, just maybe not in the same way that it was expressed on Thursday night.
Info: Pony Up! | Connect: MySpace
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