Enjoying a little Pondamonium

George Treviranus, Editor

There aren’t many bands that give shivers with their opening act. Dum Dum Girls, Garbage and The Flaming Lips did very well in getting the audience riled during their performance at Madison’s annual event, “Pondamonium.”

Royal Bangs, the initial act, and The Congregation, also the opener for the opener, started off well with their energy. Royal bangs, from Knoxville, Tennessee, played a great set. Not many people were around at that point, but once The Congregation came on stage things started to pick up.

In my mind, the concert didn’t really get started until Dum Dum Girls came on stage. Despite being new to them, they still played impressively. The lead singer with her bleached blonde hair took control. The indie pop-rock style was very catchy.

Then we get to Garbage, the band originally native to Madison. They played gloriously, opening with the first track from their new record “Not Your Kind of People,” titled “Automatic Systematic Habit.” While the first few songs were great, unfortunately the band seemed to have suffered from a case of the “blasting all the instruments too loudly”-isms. From those first few songs, it can be accurately deduced that the entire audience went at least 20 percent deaf.

The band took a break at that point, thankfully, to introduce band members. Once they picked up again, it was as if suddenly every track became coherent. It might’ve been because everyone was deaf at this point, or maybe it has to do with the technicians or DJ’s. The rest of their performance was marvelous and wonderful. They played numerous new tracks as well as others from their older records, including “Bleed Like Me.”

One thing that really stood out for the group was the drummer. Boy, can this guy play. I was convinced at one point his hands didn’t exist. Some other noteable tracks from their performance included “Control,” “Big Bright World” and at the very end, “Battle In Me,” which apparently played at the Olympics this year.  The combination of rock, techno and pop is genius.

The best was saved for last, clearly, this year, with The Flaming Lips. The crowd waited very long for them to come on stage, as it took them nearly 30 minutes to set up and another 15 minutes for the random downfall of rain. Thankfully it passed over quickly, and the suspense ended.

Boy, can they play a show. As a person who has never seen them live, it was a real blowout. They started off strong with smoke, balloons and confetti flying everywhere. “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song” and “Ego Tripping” made a strong impact, and at one point during their performance, the lead singer encased himself in a giant inflatable balloon, literally rolling around on top of the audience.

They finished strong with “Do You Realize,” at that point prolonging the ending by a good 10 minutes in order to squeeze the last of everyone’s energy. It was truly a great show. $50 is a price anyone should gladly pay for this quality of entertainment.

A special shout out to the girl who crowd surfed the entire show, as well.