The genre-defiant, mostly instrumental group, Polyphia, gained a lot of positive traction in 2018 with the release of their newest full-length record New Levels New Devils. Their ever-growing popularity is by no means a fluke of any sort, as the complexity and depth of their arrangements certainly has its ‘wow’ factor. I was very excited to see how this would be presented in a live performance.
Taking place at The Haunt, there were very early signs of a good vibe upon arrival and many fans were discussing the acts to come. Everybody seemed to be in the spirit of things, which is always promising. Much of the venue was filled up before the first act. As I made my way as far as I could to the front, I noticed the sheer abundance of musical equipment already set up, which came across as a good reflection of the complexity of Polyphia’s instrumentation.
The first and only supporting act of the night, Covet, certainly had some musical complexity themselves. This would be the second time that the Californian three-piece have played in Brighton and the first time in over three years apparently. They seemed very similar in style to Polyphia, which felt good as it gave the evening a very solid theme of instrumental artistry. I loved how soothing, indulgent and immersive their sound was and found it to have a tonne of depth.
After Covet’s brilliant supporting set, we were treated to the first sign of Polyphia’s arrival with a humorous fake set list that instantly implied that the night would see them engage with fans in a friendly and light-hearted fashion. The beginning of Polyphia’s performance was equally hilarious, with members of the band pretending they’re Tool, crowd surfing and leaving the stage before the first song.
Once they finally played, their signature fusion of instrumental and electronic elements sounded even better live than on record. It really made a difference to catch them performing in person, as you were able to not only feel their music for yourself, but also witness the band really feeling every note they played throughout the night.
The set felt incredibly unique in terms of just how entertaining it all was. Countless fans were invited on stage to join with Polyphia for a handful of tracks, tonnes of quirky humour and even a quick cover of ‘Careless Whisper’ for good measure.
Polyphia’s live performance was an adrenaline-fuelled showcase of the incredible talent that the band have to offer, but also a highly entertaining and fun performance that engaged with the audience phenomenally.