Ariel Pink's show was a weird experience at the OAF.
Nick Allbrook (frontman of POND and ex-bassist of Tame Impala) warmed up the audience for Ariel Pink last night, bringing an authentic (if a little intoxicated) presence to the stage.
Known for his prowess when it comes to psychedelic rock, his solo set was quite raw compared to his more polished collaborative work. He had the audience hypnotised when he played a bass-pedal-heavy and beautiful rendition of The Man’s Not Me (from another of his collaborations as half of the duo Allbrook/Avery). His set was definitely the highlight of the night, as his honest and emotionally charged performance was one relatively free of overt self-indulgence.
Ariel Pink on the other hand was late to the stage by over half an hour, and the band initially came across as a bunch of pretty hedonistic dudes. Opening with White Freckles from new album Pom Pom, they did little to dispel initial misgivings, screwing up the first song in a way that would be lovable and charming, but for Ariel’s attitude towards the crowd and various technical troubles.
That being said, most people in the audience enjoyed their onstage antics, firstly because Pink is known for this attitude, and also because it’s almost exactly what you would expect from a self-indulgent psychedelic-pop band from LA. Ariel Pink played tracks from the new album like Lipstick and Jell-o (featuring a weird interlude that can only be described as clown music) and following up with Put Your Number In My Phone; most of the crowd were enjoying the wall of sound that they put forward.
Despite regularly berating the stage technicians and telling the audience to “Shhh!”, Ariel Pink was a fever dream through a desert of post-pop, i.e a weird experience.