Metro City, Perth WA
September 7th, 2023
Supports: August Burns Red, Kublai Khan TX, Currents
It has only been six months since Polaris lapped Australia for their ‘10-year anniversary’ tour, but that did nothing to deter their Perth fans from selling out the Thursday night show. A lot has happened in those six months though…the tragic passing of guitarist Ryan Siew, and the release of their third full-length Fatalism – the last body of work they completed with Ryan. Safe to say this was going to be an emotional night.
The highly-anticipated gig featured an absolutely stacked line-up that drew fans in droves, resulting in a massive queue despite doors opening at an early 6 PM. The venue staff made short work of it, the venue quickly filling with concertgoers. The stage was bathed in dim purple lighting, as attendees flowed throughout the venue, revelling as they gradually filled the mosh pit and the multiple-tiered balconies. Anticipation was at boiling point as smoke slowly filled the stage and the lights dimmed…
Currents burst onto the stage, led by Brian Wille demanding “Let’s get this moving Perth!”. The band launched straight into the chaotic ‘Living In Tragedy’, sending bodies moving within the mosh. ‘Remember Me’ was next, slowing the pace just a little, but receiving large cheers. Brian then checked in on the crowd, showing pure joy at being back in Australia for only the second time and the first for Perth. “We’re here to get you warmed up, so let’s see some movement!” he declared, and the band dropped into ‘The Death We Seek’, with Christian Pulgarin threatening to start a hurricane with his spins! Brian’s vocals were on point, unleashing some sick gutturals during the huge breakdown. A couple on punters were dressed up in banana outfits which made for a few laughs watching them throwdown.
Fans unleashed some monstrous “whoa ohhs” during ‘Monsters’ and Chris Wiseman tore through the guitar solo. ‘Better Days’ followed pulling the fans back and forth between melancholic melodies and crushing heaviness. Currents then threw it back with ‘Into Despair’, Matt Young deploying blastbeats that set the pace for the room to move to. Punters got involved again to scream “and I let the devil in” before threatening to crush the floor during the breakdown. ‘Kill The Ache’ closed the set, with the entire room’s hands in the air for the ending, as the band thanked the crowd for an amazing tour opening show.
Next up was Kublai Khan TX. I’ve personally not listened to them before so was keen to hear what they had to offer. Matt Honeycutt exploded onto stage instantly demanding the attention of the room. The show was full of chugging riffs, two-stepping fun, slamming breakdowns, room shaking subdrops and a healthy dose of “ARGHF ARGHF”s. The band powered through a lengthy setlist that included ‘The Hammer’, ‘Boomslang’, ‘Self-Destruct’ and ‘Antpile’, among others. Matt got into Australian culture declaring that “they didn’t come here to fuck spiders, they can here for ‘Theory of Mind’. He let the crowd know the band was stoked to be playing the biggest show they have in Perth, and gave a solid shout out to the other bands of the night. The crowd was right into it, with lots of moshing and bodies moving, as well as several circle pits erupting.
Metalcore titans August Burns Red followed and from the moment they took the stage, you could feel their experience, the stage presence nothing short of commanding. The sound was immense, filling the venue with a WALL OF SOUND (excuse the blatant reference) that was both powerful and crisp. They opened their set with classic ‘The Truth of a Liar’, sending chaos through the pit. ‘Meddler’ inspired fans to throw their hands into the air, and JB who was donning his usual flip flops, took centre stage for the shredding guitar solo.
Jake Luhrs took a moment between songs to express the bands gratitude, asserting to fans “Perth you are beautiful”. In between his crushing vocals, Jake busted out some smooth dance moves during the melodic interlude of ‘Invisible Enemy’. Before the next track, Jake spoke about how it took them 40 hours to get to Perth, so he wanted to see some crowd surfing. The crowd was happy to oblige and threw bodies from the back of the pit to the security guards ready to catch them at the front barrier during ‘Backfire’ and ‘Revival’.
Jake then demanded the punters “Open the pit, this is the heaviest song we’ve ever written” as the band unleashed ‘Bloodletter’. JB and Brent Rambler had some fun with this one, having a bit of a duel on stage as they faced each other in their best power stances! Brent then had his time in the limelight ripping through his guitar solo, before the moshpit became the focus as they opened it up from side to side for a gnarly wall of death.
Punters continued this momentum creating a huge circle pit for ‘Paramount’ as the guitar leads wailed through the venue. August Burns Red closed out the set with a triple-track throwback from Messengers and Constellations. This set the room into a frenzy, the moshpit exploding with energy. Hands clapped furiously in the air to the beating china cymbal of ‘Composure’, lighters and phone flashlights filled the air for ‘Marianas Trench’, and the whole room hit the floor before springing into action and bouncing throughout ‘White Washed’.
The lights dimmed, an ambient track blared over the speakers, and the crowd erupted in a cheer. Jamie Hails appeared on stage solo and began reciting the lyrics to ‘Harbinger’. Daniel Furnari joined building the feeling with a huge beat, before guitarists Rick Schneider and fill-in Jesse Crofts (Windwaker), along with bassist Jake Steinhauser completed the soundscape with heavy riffage. Polaris were here, and fans showed their appreciation with a thunderous applause.
Jamie bellowed “Perth, it’s time to party!” and the band dived into ‘Nightmare’, Jamie continuing to command the audience with “Bounce Bounce Bounce”. The chorus hit and the entire venue joined in to sing along at deafening volumes – cementing the track as a live banger. ‘Hypermania’ followed, Jamie demanding the room spin to the track’s furious tempo, screaming “Faster, Faster!”. The pit transformed into a maelstrom.
Before performing ‘With Regards’, Jamie expressed his gratitude that Perth had sold out the show on a Thursday night and told fans that “Tonight is a celebration of everything that’s been going on”, and asked “You ready to sing?”. Fans were definitely ready and let loose their best harmonies. Daniel pounded out a massive drum intro before the band dropped into ‘Lucid’, punters continuing to sing along at the tops of their voices. Jamie flexed his vocal cords during this one, belching some monstrously deep gutturals. Continuing to sing along, the whole room joined in for the chorus of ‘All Of This Is Fleeting’, before the floor split from front to back and side to side for a gigantic wall of death during the breakdown.
Jamie again showed his stoke, sharing that this is the biggest show Polaris have played in Perth, and thanking everyone for coming out. ‘Landmine’ then sent the room spiralling into a huge circle pit, with fists furiously pumping the air in the surrounds, before exploding devastatingly during the breakdown. Both Jamie and Jake flexed their clean vocals for ‘Overflow’, and the pit bounced along to this more melodic banger.
Jamie then addressed the crowd with an emotional and heartfelt tribute to late guitarist Ryan Siew, detailing how Ryan had absolutely loved performing and being on stage and that fans had meant the world to him. Jamie thanked everyone for all the messages of love and support the band had received, saying that it had really helped them in this devastating situation. The room burst into a chant of “Ryan, Ryan, Ryan”. The entire venue then lit up with lighters and phone flashlights as Polaris dedicated ‘Martyr (Waves)’ to Ryan, and requested the room sing loud enough for him to hear.
‘Parasites’ was next and had the venue bouncing once again. ‘Consume’ followed and punters obliged Jamie’s demand that “No one stands still!”. The pit pulsed with energy for ‘Dissipate’, the walls of the venue trembling and threatening to come down during the crushing breakdown. The crowd screamed the lyrics for the entirety of ‘Masochist’. Jake hyped the crowd with the crushing opening bass riff of ‘Inhumane’ as Jamie demanded “You better fucking jump Perth!”.
Disappearing off stage for a few minutes enticed the crowd into a “One more song” chant. Opening the encore with ‘Pray For Rain’ allowed for a perfect rebuilding of the atmosphere, the crowd shifting back into gear and screaming the lyrics back at the band while moshing furiously. Jamie thanked everyone, including the crew, fellow bands, and venue staff, for an amazing night, before Polaris unleashed ‘The Remedy’ inspiring the fans into a deafening sing along, the entire venue throbbing to the riffs, before ending the night with one final, unforgettable wall of death.
This gig was an unforgettable night of raw energy, emotional intensity, and exceptional musicianship. Each band delivered a performance that left the crowd in awe. The combination of colossal riffs, thunderous breakdowns, melodic interludes, and powerful vocals resonated with fans who moshed, sang along, and reveled in the experience. The heartfelt tribute to the late guitarist Ryan Siew by Polaris added a deeply touching and personal element to the evening, highlighting the strength of the metalcore community. This gig was not just a concert; it was a celebration of music, camaraderie, and the enduring spirit of the genre, leaving everyone in attendance with cherished memories of a night that will be remembered for years to come.
Review by Anthony Santoro
All Of This Is Fleeting
Pray For Rain
Kublai Khan TX
August Burns Red
P O L A R I S – Fatalism Tour 2023
with August Burns Red, Kublai Khan TX and Currents
SATURDAY 9 SEPTEMBER – MCARENA, MELBOURNE (LIC AA)
SUNDAY 10 SEPTEMBER – HINDLEY ST MUSIC HALL, ADELAIDE (LIC AA)– SOLD OUT
TUESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER – US REFECTORY, CANBERRA (18+)
WEDNESDAY 13 SEPTEMBER – BAR ON THE HILL, NEWCASTLE (18+) – SOLD OUT FRIDAY 15 SEPTEMBER – FORTITUDE MUSIC HALL, BRISBANE (LIC AA) – SOLD OUT
SATURDAY 16 SEPTEMBER – HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY (LIC AA)