The Forum, Melbourne VIC
February 22nd, 2020
Supports: Wage War, Crystal Lake and Alpha Wolf
Upon releasing their highly anticipated sophomore album, The Death Of Me (our review here), Polaris has hit the road to demonstrate their new material on their biggest headline tour to date. Along for the ride came a handful of the biggest names in today’s metalcore community and we were psyched to be in their presence.
I arrived at the venue to notice an extraordinarily long queue to enter the building, excitement was in the air as the line moved at a fast pace. I made it just in time to see Melbourne locals Alpha Wolf kick off the night’s festivities. They stormed the stage in their usual getups; bucket hats (Lochie), masks (Sabian) and polo’s (Scottie) as they began their set with ‘Black Mamba’. To my surprise, they weren’t playing the same, old routine as they somewhat usually would, each song had a slightly different spin to it which was ever so refreshing.
With synchronised head-banging and the powerfully energetic stage presence of Lochie Keogh, it is easy just how well rounded these musicians have become. Currently being in the process of writing and recording their second album, the band decided to play the unreleased track ‘Akudama’, which, from what I gathered, received a fantastic reception from all those who attended. I did notice, however, not too many people were happy with the setlist that this act played, a lot of people I spoke to were rather disappointed that the band’s debut album ‘Mono’ is being phased out. You know what they say though, ‘hate the game, not the player!’
Next up was Tokyo’s metalcore heavy hitters Crystal Lake and I am almost speechless about the performance this band gave, almost. With this tour being the first time this band has ever performed in Australia after eighteen years since forming, they set the bar high for the Japanese heavy music community. Everything about this world-class act’s performance was astonishing, their professionalism, crowd interaction and musicianship was top notch. Vocalist Ryo Kinoshita really makes it hard to take your eyes off him, his well defined, clear-cut, unclean vocals makes him an absolute pleasure watch. This is a band that I could definitely get used to watching more often so fingers crossed they don’t take another eighteen years to return.
Gracing the stage with their presence, it was then time for Floridian metalcore giants Wage War. This is a band who is constantly rising as a must-see act in the live music scene and for good reason, the way they execute their music in a live setting is powerful, their fluidity and technical prowess is awe-inspiring, to say the least. The Melbourne punters welcomed this act with open arms as deafening sing-alongs and a rather rough mosh pit erupted from the crowd. Playing songs from their most recent release Pressure, such as ‘Low’, ‘Who I Am’ and ‘Prison’, as well as old favourites such as ‘Don’t Let Me Fade Away’, ‘Alive’ and ‘Stitch’. My connection to this band has only started to fuse but I don’t at all think becoming a Wage War fan for life is out the question.
The time had finally come for Polaris, Australia’s newest metalcore heavy-weights to display their new sophomore album. The packed venue went dark as the band members walked on stage, when the first song, ‘Pray For Rain’ began playing the venue lit up with lights and cheering. It is easy to see why and how this band managed to makes it’s way into the hearts and minds of heavy music lovers the world over, their stage presence is second to none. Hanging on the edge of Jamie Hails every lyric as he had the crowd in the palm of his hands.
The energy this band displayed was easily matched by overwhelming mosh pits and circle pits. I also couldn’t help but notice just how well the lighting display complimented the band’s performance, this was a well planned and professionally executed show. The setlist ranged from fan favourites throughout the different era’s of this act’s career, including old material like ‘Unfamiliar’, ‘Crooked Path’ and ‘Dusk To Day’ as well as new favourites such as ‘Landmine’, ‘Above My Head’ and of course ‘Masochist’.
Becoming one of Australia’s biggest musical exports is something that thousands attempt and fail. Against all odds, Polaris has shown that they are more than capable of doing the job.
Gig Review by Adam Rice @adamrice1994
Pray For Rain
The Slow Decay
Above My Head
Dusk To Day
Revisit Polaris drummer Dan Furnari co-hosting our Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall podcast right here
Polaris – The Death Of Me Australian Tour
with Wage War, Crystal Lake and Alpha Wolf
It’s all SOLD OUT… You snooze you lose!