On a Saturday night on the east side of Toronto, a line of rock fans looped around History as they eagerly waited for the sold-out Polyphia show. Doors opened shortly after 7 pm, and everyone filed in excitedly, claiming the perfect spot in front of the stage to watch the band of virtuosos.
Polyphia – Domi and JD Beck
History, Toronto – 21 October 2023
Words and Photography: Taylor Cameron
“Polyphia” is heard chanted loudly across the venue as 9:15 hits the clock. Roars of cheers bounced off the wall as the lights went dark. The progressive rockers take the stage, the lights flashing wildly.
Tim Henson raises his right hand into the air, showing the sign of the horns, before the band kicks into their track Loud. Fingers dancing effortlessly across the fretboards of their guitars, the melodies played by Henson and Scott Lepage could raise goosebumps onto your skin.
Clay Gober (bass) and Clay Aeschliman (drums) cover the rhythm section flawlessly, driving in the type of groove you feel in your soul. The crowd remained enthusiastic as the night went on, head banging and grooving along to the virtuosos who owned the stage.
Their stage show did not need more than four members and some lights, the playing spoke for itself. Jaws were surely dropped, the playing being otherworldly.
The setlist consisted of fan favourites such as ABC, 40oz, All Falls Apart, and Neurotica, meaning the band had the entire crowd in the palm of their hands. It was impossible to take your eyes off the young musicians, every note being played having an effect on the audience.
Their inventive take on rock music has captivated the attention of many fans across the globe, seeing them play live and making it even more mind-blowing.
Closing out the night with G.O.A.T, a statement I would say describes the band perfectly, being one of the hottest rock bands on the current music scene.
Continuing the magic of inventive guitar playing that [Steve] Vai and [Joe] Satriani have wowed us with over the last 40 years, Polyphia are a band to keep your eyes and ears on.
Domi and JD Beck
First up, we have the jazz duo Domi and JD Beck. Although they only consist of drums and keys, the duo fill the room with a larger-than-life sound. With moody lighting and a fake blossom tree sprouting behind them, a calm atmosphere flows across the venue.
The crowd cheers loudly after the first few songs, and JD Beck speaks into the mic. “Thank you so much,” he says. “We’ve had terrible crowds at the last few shows so we really appreciate it,” the crowd cheering more.
This eclectic duo had everyone in the crowd captivated, even a few headbanging to their uniquely written jazz songs. A mixture of drum patterns you could feel beating in your chest and soft, but techno-oriented keyboard playing, this is a set you do not want to miss.