On my way to see Chon at the Varsity Theater, I was at first unsure if I was going to make it in time to catch trictot, the opening band of the night, as I left to get there 15 minutes later than originally planned. With traffic and stalled cars hindering my arrival time, I got more worried as this predominantly instrumental show was one I have been looking forward to for months. However, I power walked in the heat and humidity a few blocks, making it into the venue just in time for the first notes of trictot’s opening song.
Tricot, a rock band hailing from Japan, took the stage and the crowd by storm from start to finish. The delicate yet impactful and gently powerful instrumentals blew me away. There was not a moment during their set that I wasn’t captivated by their performance; it wasn’t necessarily their stage presence that sold me, however, it was their raw talent on their instruments that kept my attention and left me waiting for their return to the States.
Next up was TTNG, another band from across the ocean, this time from England. What took me several songs to notice was that the guitarist was fingerpicking most if not all of his guitar parts, something an impressive and pleasant surprise. Incorporating more vocals to go along with their blend of intricate rock, TTNG brought a more easygoing albeit technical performance to the stage than their predecessors, while bringing a cohesive and tight performance.
Polyphia, the only band on the tour bill that I’ve seen live before, took the stage next. The last time I saw them was last spring on their headlining tour back in Boston, a show that greatly increased my appreciation for this genre. Polyphia played a trick on the crowd by walking on stage, playing a few notes and walking back off to start their set, but that only made the anticipation rise and the band surpassed every expectation I had of them. The raw talent each member of this band has left me once again in awe, and awaiting my next opportunity to see them live.
Finally, it was time for headliners CHON to take the stage l. Since I have never seen this band live before, I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect, however, the eagerness building in the crowd cued me in that this show would be a treat. The band took the stage, the stage setup compete with an intricate slight structure and a screen for projected images. Immediately, the wave of excitement flooded the crowd and there was a special energy throughout Varsity that did not let up at any point during their set. I found that I had to be in a specific mood to listen to CHON on my own but would gladly see them perform every chance I get.