14 April 2018 at Factory Theatre
Polaris are showing themselves to be Sydney’s finest metalcore export since the one and only Parkway Drive, coming through with straight-up, no BS heaviness and riff carnage with a good dosage of catchiness. Their debut album, which dropped at the end of last year, turned many heads beyond just the heavy scene by matching the nation-wide hype with a concise, well-rounded, near-perfect metalcore record.
But this wasn’t about the quality of the album, that had been settled in to the packed-out audience eagerly waiting for the 5-piece to take the stage. This was about anticipating to witness their captivating stage presence, the one they owned Unify 2018 with.
Opening the set was Northern Territory’s Tapestry, who played like they had a name to make for themselves being such newbies on this stacked bill. They brought their epic, amity-inspired anthems to the opening slot and won the technical fans over with their powerful musicianship. Dominating on both ends of metalcore.
Following we had Adelaide’s sad boys Ambleside, scratching the melodic hardcore itch that we all needed. Bringing energy to solemn sounds, the emo favourites won over the metal community rather seamlessly.
The lights dimmed for the next act, the highly anticipated The Plot In You all the way from the states. Hot off their 2018 release Dispose which smashed it here in Australia’s market, being spun all over the nation and lyrics learnt by many of the fans there on the night, The Plot In You gave their warmed up crowd a big artistic, yet heavy statement. Coming off rather artsy and theatrical, with the dramatic lead vocalist Landon Tours’s presence cutting through the stage, standing still with his face oozing with emotion. While he stood idly by, screaming with a well-composed physical fashion, his band were flying around the stage and exploding with passionate performances from each instrument. It felt explosive and emotional at the same time, an interesting but very much worthy opener for the headliner.
Polaris then took the stage, knocking out song after song with equal amounts of energy. The flow of the set was extremely smooth and natural, and the excitement did not die down for a second. Opening with their album’s opener and highlight Lucid, straight into the upbeat Relapse and the slow burner Slow Decay, the band showed off all sides to their music and built on a huge amount of energy for the rest of the set. Lead vocalist Jamie Hails is a certified beast, placing a leg on top of the amplifier or standing at the front of the stage, he commanded the audience when he spoke into the mic with great force. It was truly the sign of a new rockstar. Bassist and clean vocalist Jake Steinhouser hit every note with utmost precision and didn’t let that interfere with this wizard-like bass work, while guitarists Ryan Siew and Rick Schneider were loud, muscular and melted faces for the whole hour-long set. Ryan even found himself pulling a total 80s metal guitarist move and jumped up on the amplifier to shred the solo for Consume in front of the crowd, and hit it note for note while killing the rockstar moves. Their smash hit, The Remedy went absolutely wild with the crowd, with each member killing their vocal chords in an attempt to sing the chorus as loud as possible, a single had never felt so verified by audience’s love. Closing with Regress from their beloved 2017 EP, Polaris officially showed us that they are the leaders of the new wave of Australia’s heavy music scene. This was not hype, this was real.
Line-up: Polaris, Plot In You, Ambleside
Reviewer: Max Jacobsen