The Echo on Sunset Blvd was alive with a trio of 90s-influenced acts who lit up the venerable space with some surprisingly compelling alt-rock sets.
First up was Completions, comprised solely of Matt Pond PA cellist Shawn Alpay and a nifty array of effects pedals. Playing through his self-titled EP, Alpay’s mellow set captivated the crowd and included a quirky, haunting cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Case of You.”
Laura Stevenson and her backing band kept the night going and picked up the pace with a driving, up-tempo set dripping with a 90s post-grunge sensibility. Kicking off with “Torch Song” from her aptly-titled fresh-off-the-presses LP Cocksure, Stevenson got the crowd firmly on its feet and dancing for the rest of the night. Her set alternated between material from her new release, and songs from her back catalog, showing influences ranging from Liz Phair to Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch.
With a packed Echo Park crowd primed and ready, Matt Pond PA took the stage and immediately launched into fan favorites “So Much Trouble,” “Kc,” and “Halloween.” The set was mostly a trip down memory lane, but they did mix in a handful of tracks off their new album The State of Gold, including “Spaceland,” a song inspired by The Echo’s former sister club in Silver Lake (now called The Satellite), where Matt Pond PA had its first LA gig. Laura Berhenn of The Mynabirds joined them for ‘More No More,” and Laura Stevenson also had a turn on stage harmonizing with Matt Pond. The night wrapped up (but didn’t wind down) with “Lily Two”, “Measure”, and “M3”, all from the band’s early 2000s albums.
It was a refreshing night of good old-fashioned alt-rock in a venue that helped make that scene a couple decades ago. Somewhere, Better Than Ezra is smiling.
Words: David Duman
Photography: Charlie Wright
Matt Pond PA
Matt Pond PA