One of the most unique tours of the summer, the Super Chon Bros Tour 2, made a stop this past Tuesday evening at The Underground Charlotte playing to a sold out crowd. Four similar yet very distinct bands are featured on the tour including Tricot, TTNG, Polyphia, and Chon. Playing various styles of math rock and prog metal, the bands offer technical musicianship and complex song structures. The music was mostly instrumental with elaborate rhythmic structures, odd time signatures and lots of starting and stopping. The genre is sometimes compared to the Baroque era of classical music and composers like Bach because of the use of counterpoint with melodies that work together in harmony yet are independent in rhythm.
Kicking off the evening was a four piece band all the way from Kyoto, Japan called Tricot. With minimalistic vocals from guitarist Ikumi “Kiiyu” Nakajima and innovative leads from lead guitarist Motoko “Motifour” Kida, Tricot put on a solid set. The band was an interesting blend of math rock with a lot of Japanese pop elements as they ran through a short set featuring some new songs from their latest EP “Kabuku.”
Next up was TTNG also known as This Town Needs Guns hailing from Oxford, England. Their style was somewhat in the math rock class but also drew a lot of influences form alternative and pop rock with a bit more melodic feel than the other bands on the lineup. The trio consists of brothers Tim and Chris Collis on guitar and drums respectively and Henry Tremain on bass and lead vocals. The real standout and focal point of the band is the brilliant guitar work of Tim Collis with intricate melodies and rhythms with a two hand tapping technique.
After a short break, the venue was ready for more action which came in the form of the prog metal band geniuses of Polyphia. The band took the stage to a huge roar from the fans, proceeded to play just a few bars of a song, bowed, and made a quick exit from the stage. Apparently this is the norm for Polyphia as fans began to chant “One more song! One more song!” before they returned to the stage for their set. The band features two guitarists, Tim Henson and Scott LePage, who are both equally talented in their technical proficiency and ability to throw down some one of a kind experimental leads. Rounding out the lineup are the two Clays, Clay Gober on Bass and Clay Aeschliman on drums.
Another surprise came after the first song when bassist Gober told the audience he was disappointed in the lack of crowd surfing so far. I thought he must be joking because who crowd surfs to prog metal? Well, I’ll tell you what, Polyphia fans sure do! From that point on, it was a constant stream of bodies to the barricade taking not only myself but security by surprise as they had to call in for backup even enlisting a member of the medic team to help out. Their efforts were duly noted by Gober as he complimented them for keeping everyone safe and urged the fans to give them some love and show their appreciation. Their set was nonstop energy from the crowd and nobody was able to catch their breath until the final notes were over.
Capping off the night was the California math rock band Chon. The band came out to a darkened stage illuminated by a lighted backdrop of a diamond shaped geometric pattern. Guitarists Mario Camarena and Erick Hansel took their spots behind their mics along with bassist Esiah Camarena with drummer Nathan Camarena’s kit situated stage left. The band began with an intro before beginning their set with “Wavebounce” and “Waterslide” off their 2017 release, “Homey.” Guitarists Camarena and Hansel began to weave a convoluted web of beautiful harmonies as they played through a mass of polyrhythms. Their sound was both ethereal and dreamlike amidst the planned chaos of the rhythms as they intertwined melody upon melody. After a sixteen song set, the band returned for a two song encore of “Can’t Wait” and “Perfect Pillow” both from their 2015 album “Grow.”
If you’re looking for something a bit different this summer, be sure to check out the Super Chon Bros Tour 2 when it hits a city near you. Prepare to be not only entertained but also awed and amazed.
Chon Set List:
Intro/Across The Spectrum
We would like to thank Alexa Gallo from Ngagency for the credentials to review the show.