Polyphia and Covet Live Review From The Fleece, Bristol, 11th February

Polyphia Band Promo Photo

Texas based prog metallers Polyphia had been a band I had listened to for a while now, but after the release of their most recent album “New Levels New Devils” seeing the quartet live was on the top of my agenda, and they lived up to every expectation I had and more. Upon entering the venue, security announced that tonight was a special night as they were allowing up to three crowdsurfs during the set, and those who made it on stage were to exit promptly- I was intrigued and knew we were in for some fun.

Opening for Polyphia tonight were Covet (9), their beautiful, jazzy instrumentals left not only me, but the entire audience (at this point already pretty much full to the brim), pretty much speechless in a captivated trance. Yvette Young’s guitar playing was just mind-blowing- she’s one of the most badass female guitarists out there right now.

By the time Polyphia (9) were due to go on, I had already lost my friends due to the fact it was close to impossible to wriggle through the crowd, this is the most full I had ever seen this venue. The band open with G.O.A.T and almost immediately a wall of death opens and then a huge mosh emerges. The crowd is truly split between either moshing and heavily grooving or standing completely still sporting the most entertaining of bass faces- this time I was in the latter.

Despite no vocals, Polyphia are one of the most entertaining bands I’ve seen live. They carry all the technical genius of a prog band yet all the energy and madness of a punk show. Bassist Clay Gober consistently throws himself into the pit, at one point handing his instrument over to a clearly chuffed lad while he’s quite literally thrown upside down by the crowd, emerging back on stage a few minutes later clearly suffering after his journey.

During ‘Goose’ security’s opening statement made sense as Gober ordered 200 crowd surfers to climb on stage. How the band managed to more or less stay in time with a bunch of wild fans bouncing across the stage was commendable. This was repeated once more during ’The Worst’, which was greeted with much the same enthusiasm from the audience.

The setlist predominantly consisted of tunes from their latest album (if you haven’t checked it out yet- now is the time) and a few dotted around from their previous albums and EPs – it was a balanced set which didn’t miss out any of their biggest hits.

Polyphia finish with an encore of ‘Euphoria’ – there’s not a body I can see in the room that isn’t exclaiming how good they were or generally looking seriously happy with themselves. This was one of the most enjoyable live shows I had been to in a long while, with plenty of audience interaction and banter within the band. They’re an incredibly talented bunch of musicians that everyone should see live.


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