Concert Diary: Polyphia Tour 2019

Me and my dads

It’s been exactly 1 year since my last concert and with the way covid-19 is going now, there’s no telling when my next live show will be. There isn’t much to do but reminisce about seeing my favorite band, Polyphia. They toured with Issues, Lil Aaron, and Sleep Token–which TBH I had never heard any of before. My beautiful friend Alyssa went with me and we had so much fun the whole night, dancing and getting to know all the awesome people around us.

Crowd selfie

There’s something about Polyphia’s music, especially the last album New Levels New Devils, that I never get tired of. My favorite part about their music is that they’re (almost) purely instrumental. No singer and no lyrics means it’s easy to get lost in the composition of each track and for someone who appreciates the complexities that can lie in tonal harmonies and rhythm alone it’s a treat for the ears. Their last two albums especially incorporated the use of trap beats giving their sound an edge all their own. All of the dudes are incredibly talented musicians but guitar definitely takes center stage on each track, becoming the lyricist you didn’t know you needed. (And don’t even get me started on bass.)

So anyway, this is about the concert, back to the live show! I’m gonna be completely honest, I only came for Polyphia so I didn’t really get any photos of the other bands lol. I checked them all out in the month before so I could get to know their music but I was really just reveling in the atmosphere. The show was at a cool venue (The Aztec Theatre in San Antonio) with very Legends of the Hidden Temple vibes. It features Meso-American architecture, Aztec imagery plasterwork inspired by Mexican temples, and dramatic columns throughout. For such a big, open space, it maintained a sense of intimacy which meant that any seat in the house was a good one.

Sleep Token

First on the list was Sleep Token. I’d heard a few of their songs on Youtube, most notably The Offering is one I came back to a few times. It has a dark, eerie, quality about it that you feel from the get-go. Distorted guitar and drums come in heavy against the ethereal backdrop of what sounds like synthesized water droplets. When the distorted guitar and drums drop off, we’re left with piano, singing synths, and the soothing tone of the singer’s voice that brings with it a unique vibrato. The song takes a gorgeous, unsuspecting turn into a sweet break of lively piano and falsetto singing before bringing back the full band sound and cymbal crashes.

The whole song is a beautiful mix of opposing elements that fit together nicely and I felt that rush I get every time I see a good concert, just lucky to be able to stand in a room and watch it happen before my eyes and ears.

The band themselves were dressed kind of funny, and now I’m really sad I didn’t take photos! I think I just posted them on snapchat for the lulz but didn’t save any. They came out in dark cloaks and all wore complete face masks, over their heads, the way you see robbers in movies pull pantyhose over their faces, but these were black with painted white faces. One of the members wore this strange half-shirt that covered his arms and shoulders but left his chest and body exposed.

The Offering was pretty good but all the rest of the songs had the same dark, depressing kinda vibe which got old pretty fast. I hadn’t seen Alyssa in months so we just zoned out from the show, and started hanging out and cracking jokes. You couldn’t see any of the guys’ faces and I remember we couldn’t stop laughing cuz she said, “that one’s hot” which was hilarious because there was really no way to tell besides maybe the one with the 6-pack. Also it was funny how he was all covered up but like, “dude, gotta show these abs somehow.”

Lil Aaron

Next up was Lil Aaron. His music is a whole lot more fun, which is way more my scene. He combines emo, rap, pop-punk, and trap, which some people might say is “cringe” but TBH I think it’s pretty badass since I enjoy all those genres. Plus it takes some major skill to throw them all together. He put on a great show, had high energy, and it was just a damn good time.

So suffice to say, I was dancing AF and didn’t care about all the lil metal kids around who are, like, too cool to “like rap” or whatever. A lot of his songs have that bit of humor in the way he uses meme culture for lyrics and content and I just gotta give props to the guy for being so creative. Lil Aaron is a cool ass dude in my book.

Some of the guys in my group chat had definitely been hating on him but Alyssa and I had a blast during his set. Someone in the chat made the comment, “He looks like he smells like a hobo.” Well I’m here to set the record straight and spit facts! Lil Aaron smells like fucking delicious clean-ass clothes and expensive soap, okay?! He was fresh as a summer’s day and super soft and cozy to boot, so ya’ll can stop hating! (I’m talking to you, Pussy Gang [that’s my group chat])

We met him on our way out of the venue, he asked us for directions to a vegan place. I asked him if he would take me to Hot Topic and he said “Hell yeah!” But it was just my luck, Hot Topic was closed by that time so we didn’t get to go anywhere. 😥

Lil Aaron and me on our way to Hot Topic

Polyphia

Next up on the set list was Polyphia, guitar daddies. I hadn’t seen them since they were lil boys back in 2014, before Tim had neck tattoos or TikTok so it was about time I saw them once again. Besides that, New Levels New Devils had been my absolute jam all year long so if I was gonna see them for any tour it was gonna be this one. Here’s me and Tim for a throwback.

Timmy and me 2014

[I had just been to Charli’s Sucker tour.] So Polyphia gets on stage! Right away they start off with the biggest baddest jam of them all, G.O.A.T. 🐐 The crowd went crazy, I went crazy, I couldn’t stop jumping and dancing and grooving and singing all the riffs at the top of my lungs, not believing my eyes that I was getting to watch my favorite jams live.

It’s times like that at concerts when I just look up at the stage lights, see the smoke curling in the air, and feel the buzzing energy of the crowd, and it’s like this is why we live. No? Is it just me? There’s something about live shows and good music that take my breath away. So like I said, me and Alyssa made good friends with some of the peeps in the crowd and when it came time to crowd surf I caught a ride up. Floating above the crowd, looking up at the swirling smoke and hearing all the crowd singing riffs and clapping to the beat was incredible. 10/10 would recommend.

After their set, they came down to hang out with the little folks and have some chats. Tim couldn’t believe the photo of us as lil kids and he tried to sign my phone as proof he saw it lol. Scott let me touch his hair and let me tell you, it is so thick yet soft. He told me he uses Pantene and even though it gets crazy tangled on stage, it still looks like a million bucks. All the guys are awesome AF and I couldn’t be more grateful that they came down to hang and say what’s up. When the next album comes out, I’ll be right there jamming, dancing, and crowd surfing alongside all the friends I made that night.

Me and Scott, and too much good hair for one photo

Issues

Issues was the last band, they were really good and all but their energy was just a totally different vibe and Alyssa and I were about ready to head home. We stayed for a few songs including Without You, which is definitely a sing-along kinda jam. It was the perfect way to end an epic night.

Thanks for checking out my Concert Diary post! Stop by my soap shop if you haven’t yet to see what I’ve been doing all quarantine 🖤 (but also if you wanna smell as good as Lil Aaron)

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