Entertainment Music

Peter McPoland Refuses to “Slow Down” at the Stone Pony

“I hope you can play the Stone Pony one day like Bruce Springsteen did.” Early in the show, Peter McPoland quoted his mother as having said this while on the boardwalk together when his popularity started to rise. This premonition came true on Sunday, Nov. 19, when McPoland closed his “Piggy” tour at the famed venue.

At around 9 p.m., after an electrifying opening act by Stephen Dawes, McPoland’s supporting band entered the stage followed by the man himself. Sporting a white button-up, black slacks, and over-the-ear headphones that continuously fell off, McPoland waltzed on stage and began the show with the song “Mold” from his recent album “Piggy.” Thus, the “first night of the rest of our lives”—a mantra repeated by McPoland throughout the show—had officially commenced.

Audience members never would have been able to guess that McPoland had previously played 23 other shows across the nation over the course of about two months. Despite the boot on his foot—earned from jumping off the stage and into the pit at his show in Chicago—energy on the stage never drifted anywhere under totally and completely charged the entire night. Intense songs such as “Make It Stop” and “I Need You” set the vibe expectations high at the beginning of the set, and the rest failed to disappoint. Even the rock version of his folk ballad “Eloise” proved exceptionally crafted to match the more rock feel of the latest album.

While the majority of tracks played consisted of new releases from “Piggy,” the night rounded out with two McPoland classics—“Shit Show” and the iconic “Romeo & Juliet.” The latter proves to be the singer’s original claim to fame, with the song surpassing 56 million streams on Spotify. For this song only, McPoland removed his boot, vowing to end the tour how he started it: on two working feet. The show officially closed with McPoland’s most recent trending song, the intoxicating alternative hit “Digital Silence,” which has 32 million streams on Spotify and over 33 thousand videos under the sound on TikTok.

Overall, McPoland is a captivating, live-wire performer who doesn’t have the word “stop” in his vocabulary. His continuous energy is unmatched by that of most live performers, and his stage presence alone is enough to keep even the most uninterested viewer absolutely glued to his movements. McPoland’s vocals, though lacking refined technique at times, scratch all the right brain itches, and his ability to switch from agressive screaming to melodious, twangy crooning is nothing short of impressive.

His appreciation for his fans is refreshing, as well. Not once did the singer hesitate to tell the audience how much he appreciated their support and remind them how much he truly loved them. It was hard to leave the venue not hoping for the best for McPoland in the coming years, and he truly proved himself as someone worthy of the amounting acclaim he has been receiving.

Without a doubt, he is a musician who, with only about 1.5 million current monthly listeners on Spotify, will be hitting mainstream charts in no time at all.