The Epitome of Soulful Musicianship: Polyphia at The Fonda Theatre

A sold-out crowd stood in awe and excitement at the instrumental marvel of the ensemble.

polyphia
Photograph by Ekaterina Gorbacheva

Photographs by Ekaterina Gorbacheva (@ekaterinagorbacheva.art) at

The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, August 27, 2022:


Shrouded amidst floating white smoke and electrifying light beams of varying shades was Polyphia — a multi-faceted entity known for abiding by little to no musical conventions. The band, who is now close to concluding their North American Tour, brought the festivities to The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles for an evening many will remember for years to come. Lucky those in attendance, ourselves included.


Led by guitarists Tim Henson and Scott LePage, Polyphia have mastered the art of the thrill, all due in part to their exquisite song-writing and intentionality. Henson and LePage are joined by bassist Clay Gober and drummer Clay Aeschliman, who complete the well-rounded, celebrated band. Each one of their tracks comes packed with layers waiting to unfold and reward the patient listener. That much is true for the live renditions as well, which bring about a new level of immersion to those keen on basking in their maelstrom of sound, as experienced at The Fonda. Once lights began to flicker and Polyphia hit the stage, the unreleased Genesis commenced with serene guitar melodies.

polyphia
Photograph by Ekaterina Gorbacheva

With the band recently announcing their new album, Remember That You Will Die, it's only right that the new material begin to flow. We were introduced to it all through the release of Playing God (Rise Records) — a track that soars with Nuevo flamenco guitars, pulsing rhythms, and bossa nova soul. Once Playing God hit the stage, it was crisp and astoundingly felt. The same goes for Neurotica, another new offering that allows for Gober's resounding bass work to shine alongside a masterful guitar performance.


Polyphia's setlist was spread across the band's trajectory, offering much to love from their early years through the latest full-length, New Levels New Devils (2018). Standouts like O.D., 40oz, and Champagne were met by great cheer, and rightfully so. Henson and LePage ripped through them all while Aeschliman's drum prowess excelled, each feeding off one another's energy.

polyphia
Photograph by Ekaterina Gorbacheva

One could consider Poyphia an anomaly of sorts for their compositions stretch far beyond the norm for any of the multiple genres injected within their formula. Beyond that, they established a reciprocal relationship with the crowd that continued well into the end of the night.


Goose, Look But Don't Touch, and The Worst, among other of their unconventional gems, made an entry that sparked a great deal of enthusiasm and visible head swaying throughout The Fonda. No words needed to be said. The encore, which included fan favorites Euphoria & G.O.A.T., elevated the intensity even higher than before, as if the band's cover of Pantera's Domination didn't already do it.

polyphia
Photograph by Ekaterina Gorbacheva

Rarely do you stumble across an act of this caliber, and even more so on a live stage with plenty of room for failure. Improvisation and a boundless approach to composition was ever so present that evening, and it simply served as a byproduct of Polyphia's investment in their craft. From beginning to end, the passion was notable and each member's facial expressions and composure spoke volumes of the merriment that performing brings to them. There's no question that Polyphia will continue to carry the torch for contemporary experimental music as they continue their rapid ascent through the ranks. What we saw at The Fonda was more than a showcase of musical talent, but a testament to the grip that the band have on audiences who connect with the material beyond a surface level.


Enjoy a photo gallery of the performance below and pre-order the band's upcoming fourth album, Remember That You Will Die, HERE. We'd recommend attending one of the last few remaining shows on tour, but tickets have all sold out!