Pottery River & Sky, Field ON, July 19

Pottery River & Sky, Field ON, July 19
Photo: Stephen McGill
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Who said post-punk had to be serious? Pottery sure didn't — the Montreal outfit, bolstered to a sextet for this performance with the addition of an auxiliary percussionist, brought an irreverent energy to their taut, workmanlike rhythms, punctuating their abrupt starts, stops and time-signature changes with endearing non-sequiturs and playful intra-band theatrics, like mocking kicks toward each other's heads.
 
Buoyed by the breakout success of their debut release, No. 1, Pottery's live set takes their tunes to the next level. The studio versions of each song are merely starting points — tracks like "Smooth Operator" and "Lady Solinas" were given extended, beefed-up live renditions, weaving in daubs of funk, disco and surf, even turning the sparsely attended, sunlit Main Stage into a dance party at one point. Drummer Paul Jacobs — a talented bandleader in his own right — dominated behind the kit, while lead singer Austin Boylan's inflected yelp accrued crowd comparisons to the likes of Jello Biafra and the Cramps' Lux Interior.
 
Equal parts cerebral and visceral, each Pottery song is like a world unto itself, filled with different parts that turn on a dime, and yet the band have dug into their well of grooves to turn them into veritable party-starters. Most rock bands can give you either something to think about or something to dance to — Pottery do both in ample measure.