Northcote Theatre, Melb VIC
June 29, 2023
Support: The Omnific
Melbourne is home to a great deal of beautiful venues, and Northcote Theatre is one of the many fantastic examples of this. It’s been great to see more and more shows take place in this gorgeous venue over the last 12 months and every time I walk up those stairs, I am always filled with excitement, no matter what the show is.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t even realise this tour was coming through until I got the email about reviewing it. Upon investigation, it turns out that the entire tour sold out so quickly that any form of advertising was well and truly pointless. If that doesn’t tell you enough about Polyphia’s growth in recent years, then I don’t what you need to hear. The band is doing big things and their latest record Remember That You Will Die has taken them up to a whole other level. I’ll admit that I’m a very casual fan of the band but was really excited to find out if seeing them live would heighten my level of fandom.
The only support for the tour came in the form of Melbourne trio The Omnific, featuring duelling bass players accompanied by a powerhouse drummer. On paper, a band of this nature might seem like an odd concept given the bass isn’t often front and centre, but damn, this talented trio brought it from the first note. Gracefully arranged, perfectly executed and surprisingly engaging, The Omnific warmed up the crowd with style. There’s nothing cooler than seeing a room full of people warm to a support band as their set progresses and by the end of the set, it was very clear that the talented trio had amassed many a new fan.
Polyphia are a hard band to pin down. They’re obviously massive nerds and insane musicians, but that aside, it’s clear that they know how to bring the party. Their set was so full of energy from the moment they walked on stage, and I was genuinely taken aback by the crowd’s incredibly hyped response to this set full of blistering yet tasteful musicianship. The last thing I expected was to hear the crowd singing melodies note for note during almost every song.
Polyphia’s set was largely made up of tracks from the aforementioned Remember That You Will Die, the band’s previous album New Levels, New Devils and the EP before that The Most Hated. Admittedly, I am a big fan of their earlier work, but it’s undeniable that their more recent work has grown their fanbase and opened them up to a much wider audience. Never would I have thought that tracks like ‘Playing God’, ‘Goose’ and ‘G.O.A.T’ would garner such mass appeal but the crowd lapped up every single second of them.
Selfishly, the highlights of the set for me came in the form of two older tracks. Firstly, ‘Champagne’ was an unexpected and wonderful surprise in the middle of the set that saw the entire crowd singing the main riff as loud as humanly possible, which was so much fun to experience. Secondly, the band closed out their set with the triumphant and soaring ‘Euphoria’, my absolute favourite Polyphia track. It’s simple yet infectious melody just hits perfectly and to finally see it in a live setting was an absolute treat.
Honestly, I was having such a good time enjoying the party vibes of the crowd and sing-alongs that the band’s set flew by in what felt like an instant. Song after song of simply insane musicianship had my inner guitar nerd beaming from ear to ear and my early suspicions were confirmed in that I walked away from the show fully converted to a full-time Polyphia fan. Bravo, gentlemen.
Review by Nicholas Simonsen @blackechomusic