Intervals / Polyphia
The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney NSW
September 23rd, 2018
Support: James Norbert Ivanyi
It was a good night for progressive metal fans on Sunday, as Sydney was treated to a full night of instrumental insanity. The monstrous combo of Intervals from Toronto and Polyphia from Texas, supported by James Norbert Ivanyi and his band, took the Bald Faced Stag by storm – packing the venue and shredding up the stage.
James Norbert Ivanyi gave a stellar performance to a slightly less stellar crowd. Confusion over the start time had an unfortunate impact on the number of people who showed for the first act, which is a shame as Ivanyi really showcased some versatility – juggling delicacy with some pure progressive madness.
By the time Polyphia took to the stage though, it was undeniable that the crowd had truly assembled. Bassist and designated mic-man, Clay Gober, waved the fans goodnight after their soundcheck with a “we’ve been Polyphia, see you next time!”. You could tell who could take a joke, and who was a metal purist (coughelitistcough), because the boys returned to the stage with a slamming bass-driven trap track that made some people laugh their asses off, and some people the face. You know the one. The one that the huge guy next to you makes as the breakdown hits.
I was quite interested to see how they were going to balance the pristine sound of their earlier works with the gritty BADTRIP tone of the singles off of their new album. The Polyphia boys led right into their huge new track, ‘G.O.A.T.’, Gober split the crowd for a wall of death – with no drop in the track – but it was fine because of the sheer magnitude of the sound coming from the stage. They smashed onwards with favourite after favourite, including ‘Champagne’, ‘Goose’, and ‘Euphoria’. Musicianship notwithstanding, one of the most entertaining aspects of Polyphia’s live show is the antics on the side – from the “not only the biggest, but the greatest metal band of all time” voice over at the beginning of their set, to Gober’s line “sing along please”.
There was tension in the air in the lead up to the Intervals set. This was to be their first show in Sydney since 2016 and you could tell people were restless to see the boys back on the stage – utterly evident in the welcoming roar as they begun to unfold their track ‘Touch & Go’. It was clear now more than ever the level of thought and craftsmanship that had been woven into some of those tracks, blending a huge array of elements, inspirations, and genres.
This was truly a show worth seeing. Those people who are not typically privy to the progressive, or even instrumental, field of music would undoubtedly find themselves entertained this night. The energy from the Intervals boys was contagious. The heavier tracks, such as ‘Epiphany’, got the crowd moving, where the slower sections of ‘Sure Shot’ allowed for appreciation of skill. The night was a hit, and there wasn’t a person left dissatisfied. All performers gave a great show, and looked to be very much in their element. Mad props to everyone on the stage that night.
Gig Review by Miles Knox.
Revisit our interview with Polyphia‘s Clay Gober here