I arrived tonight to see openers Young Buffalo already a couple songs into their set. Being entirely new to this band, I found them initially a bit jarring and discordant, but as the set carried on, they grew on me. What I at first mistook for awkwardness seems to have more been them expressing their energy to a nearly-empty room this early on a Friday night. They jumped through the hoops of being-kind-to-the-audience, but it really was a dismal turnout this early on, and you can’t really blame their effort being a bit hackneyed. They were a much louder band than I expected to see on a bill with Matt Pond PA, and those who were in attendance early on were suitably rallied for the music to follow after watching these guys rip up the stage.
After fixing their arrow backdrop and hurriedly switching the stage over, Matt Pond PA came out, a motley crew who don’t quite, at first, look like they belong to the same band. It was not many songs in before Pond remarked on the small audience, thanking those there fondly, but pointing out that it was “a bit quiet, but that’s okay.It’s Friday night in Vancouver!” The enthusiasm level was well kept up by a couple of vocal members of the crowd, which was trickling in a little higher numbers by now. The pleasant side of the small-crowd coin is that it created a really living-room-concert kind of atmosphere in the room, which felt fairly appropriate for the music style. Off-colour jokes were share-told, we almost got tricked into rooting for the wrong hockey team, and hollered song requests culminated in the band doing their rendition of “Champagne Supernova” as part of the encore. It was a sweet night with excellent music, over too soon!