P.O.D. at the Underworld
“The band you are about to hear may cause crowd participation!” With an emphasis on the last two words, repeated and echoing throughout the basement of the Camden Underworld, nu-metal, Christian, American band, Payable on Death are introduced. Following heavy metal performances by UK natives Sacred Mother Tongue and Texas-based group Hellyeah, P.O.D. initially have an opposing feel to their set.
With the 20th Century Fox opening fanfare playing, the band enthusiastically enter on stage and it seems like the night has taken a turn for easy listening until lead singer Sonny Sandoval actually gets going. He suddenly erupts with energy on popular hit Boom, getting the audience charged up and then unexpectedly jumping into the crowd, who are all too willing to support his weight as he walks with each step in their hands.
The energy from the band and fans alike is consistently high: onlookers mosh and headbang in unison to the chorus of Set It Off. Guitarist Marco Curiels’ voice is discernible as he repeatedly screams the word “rise” into the microphone and the effect sends some into a frenzy, while others attempt to crowd surf and flip over onto the lip of the stage as security keeps them contained. Despite the seemingly dark, angry style of the genre, the message that P.O.D. often shares is positive and the band use encouraging words, as in this chorus: “Let your spirit fly…stand up for yourself…hold your head up high.”
Promoting their most recent album Murdered Love, they cover eight of 11 tracks including singles Lost in Forever and Beautiful. Babylon the Murderer showcases the range of their new material with softer instrumentals, allowing the listener to really experience the bass and drums, and hear an unanticipated reggae-style sound in the vocals. Not entirely neglectful of their early fan base, the band also incorporate a fair amount of popular tunes into the set including Youth of the Nation, Southtown and Alive.
An upbeat set overall, the positivity seems over the top as they conclude with a chorus of Sublime’s What I Got. The line “Lovin’ is what I got, said remember that, lovin’ is what I got” is repeated several times over but perhaps a general optimism in a genre that demands ire is what has earned them such success.
Photos: Bartek Odias
For further information about P.O.D. and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Boom here: