The Basement, Canberra ACT
July 20th, 2018
Supports: Justice for The Dammed, Diamond Construct, Above, Below
Canberra may be freaking cold at the moment, barely reaching ten degrees on this particular Friday, but that didn’t stop a sold out crowd heading to The Basement for a evening with one of the most captivating live acts touring the Australian heavy music scene, Polaris.
Polaris have been busy on their first regional headline tour of Australia, stirring up circle pits and mesmerising audiences across Tasmania and Victoria, and as they move the run up north to the NSW and ACT area they’re proving to be a band to watch closely as they develop into a remarkable band. At the time of writing, every single show on their tour is sold out, an achievement which I’m sure the guys are celebrating.
For their Canberra leg of the tour, Polaris have brought with them a solid line up, with an additional three support bands marking a great way for music fans to bring in the weekend.
People were already filing into the venue to escape winter when Above, Below took to the stage to kick things off. A young band from Sydney, they fit the night’s theme of quiet passages and heavy breakdowns. The band are clearly proud of their music, with their set consisting of songs from their EP The Sowers Of Discord, and each member putting in the energy to make a dynamic performance.
But if you were here for djent, that’s precisely what you got with the next band. Hailing from the country NSW town of Taree, Diamond Construct is a band for the seven-string connoisseur. For me, these guys were the most impressive of the night, especially as a guitarist, and I found myself making my way to the front of the stage to witness the band’s two main axemen thrash it out. Not to mention I had a bit of a drool over their pedalboards (nice Digitech Whammy, guys.)
Diamond Construct’s vocalist, Kynan Groundwater, had one goal in mind for their set – to get the increasing crowd pumped up and awake for the two following acts. In fact, trying to get people to have a second wind of energy was the theme for the night. It’s something that I always find bands have a challenge with since I moved to the capital. To be fair, it’s not the fault of the bands coming to town – I find it’s more because the Canberra winter takes the energy out of folks a bit.
And no, the hot air emerging from Parliament House doesn’t help. (Boom tish.)
Anyway, Diamond Construct are a band to watch, as they’re a great act and could really grow into the heavy music scene. You’ve gained a fan, guys, and I hope to catch another show soon.
Justice for The Dammed are a little more deathcore than the other acts, with a tinge of black metal thrown in for good measure. Having toured a few times with Polaris, the two bands have grown together, and Justice certainly proved their place as the special guests for the tour. Circle pits were aplenty, and the crowd were certainly more energized and ready for the headline by the time they were finished, featuring songs from their album Dragged Though the Dirt. An impressive set, and they clearly have a growing fanbase as they move up in the scene.
The night belonged to Polaris, however, who took to the stage for an hour of dynamic and brutal metal. Opening with ‘Sonder’ and continuing with songs from their debut album The Mortal Coil, along with a mixture of older fan favourites. Having only just recently got into Polaris, I found them to be a captivating live band, who provided a soundtrack for an audience who were there to slam each other to an energetic soundtrack. Pausing only to wish their drummer Daniel Furnari a happy birthday, vocalist Jamie Hails whipped the crowd into a frenzy, slowing down only for the more sombre ‘Dusk To Day’, and the fans in Canberra loved every minute of it.
By the time Polaris ended the night with ‘Consume’, the temperature in The Basement had risen to a more comfortable hot and sweaty, as Canberrans stirred up a mosh pit to rival Sydney or Melbourne. Being sent off into the zero degree outdoors, everyone had clearly had a bloody good night. Hopefully Polaris grace the capital again soon.
Gig Review by Simon Valentine @SimonValentine1
Polaris – Dusk to Day Tour
with Justice for the Damned
22nd July @ Miranda, NSW – Sold Out 27th July @ Sunshine Coast, QLD – Sold Out 28th July @ Gold Coast, QLD – Sold Out