Chon is the musical equivalent of a river. Their music can be fast, slow, aggressive and soft all within the span of a few songs; their melodies twinkle and charm just as easily as they thrash and rage. With a live show that thrives on lack of expectation, each new song performed had the potential to change the entire venue’s atmosphere. The band’s hairpin turns kept fans on their toes — using a largely instrumental catalogue — by switching tempo and volume on the fly.
Before I dive too deeply into the headlining act’s torrential musicianship, it’s important to note the talent of openers Covet and Tera Melos (unfortunately Little Tybee couldn’t make the show due to vehicle issues). Three-piece Covet sports a similar style of math rock to Chon’s more melodic side: Guitarist Yvette Young’s stylistic playing is one of precision, almost a little viscous in the way each note streams from the amps. Their set was an impressive welcome upon entering the venue.
Next up was Tera Melos, whose music is the most accessible of the three bands. Featuring a slightly more traditional punk-rock vibe with more vocality, Tera Melos shred impressively and chaotically on the stage. Their set included the clangy “Aped” and disjointed “A Spoonful of Slurry,” both highlighting drummer John Clardy’s knack for deftly switching up the band’s rhythm. Their spirited performance elicited an encore chant that was appreciatively turned down.
Chon is a relatively young band, whose tour was in support of their (fantastic, I might add) sophomore album Homey. The band has been quick to gain recognition for their talents, and the packed crowd at Saint Andrew’s Hall reflected the diversity of their appeal — it’s simply impossible to not groove to their infectious melodies. From Tera Melos’s set onward, the middle of the room was a raging pit whose bouncing bodies emitted seemingly tireless energy into the rest of the vibing crowd.
The band opened their set with the opening track from Homey “Sleepy Tea,” deftly named for its gently crafted melodies that eased the crowd into the band’s rhythm. On “Waterslide,” the next track off Homey, the band upped the tempo and the crowd’s energy with its poppy notes and urgent pace.
The band kept to their older material for the latter half of their set. Tracks from debut album Grow furthered the fans’ engagement as the pit constantly grew and crowd surfers became more frequent. Everything about the set felt more cohesive as the show went on — the deft use of lighting and the movement of the crowd was perfectly mirrored to the band’s performance. Closing their encore with fan favorites “Can’t Wait” (which Young from Covet guest performed guitar on) and “Perfect Pillow” — the former being one of their only lyrical songs — put the crowd at a climactic enthusiasm. In just under 20 songs, Chon proved that lyrics are far from necessary to bring out the characteristic emotion and energy in a live rock show to phenomenal results.