POLARIS + Supports, Mooroolbark Community Centre, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday July 15

It’s a nice afternoon in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, the sun and the birds are out and so it would seem, are all the people. Upon approaching the Mooroolbark Community Centre it was very clear to see from the multiple small crowds of people waiting outside that this was more than a small gig. There was anticipation in the air with fans of multiple bands both local and interstate and every single one of those fans were piling in as soon as the doors opened to this sold out afternoon show.

The show was kick started by the first supporting act, Colour & Shade. The opening band had the least turnout in audience as people were still turning up and entering the venue, but nevertheless the band managed to pull off what I believe to be a pretty damn good show. You could feel the drums in your chest and the distortion of the guitars buzzing in your head, the band was showcasing a great start to the show despite the lack of crowd and I personally enjoyed them the most of the opening acts.

Next up to hit the stage was Gloom In The Corner. Gloom In The Corner came on and it was immediately obvious to anyone who hadn’t heard them before that they boasted a growling, deep and more aggressive overall sound with less clean vocals. They had a few supporters who joined the crowd, one in particular who had a bit of a “one man mosh pit” thing going on. The stage presence of this band wasn’t quite as entertaining as the others, however they still thrust in a lot of energy so props to them for that.

Follow Gloom In The Corner was what seemed to be the very locally loved Pridelands. As the band set up and prepared on stage it became apparent that they had two vocalists, one for predominantly cleans and the other pure unclean vocals. At the beginning of the show they showed good interaction with the crowd by beckoning them towards the edge of the stage, they appeared to have a larger following than the other opening bands as a lot of the crowd were singing along to the songs, which also helped the band interact with the crowd more effectively. Their stage presence was pretty wild too, every member (except the drummer) was jumping, spinning and dancing and they really elevated the intensity of the show.

Justice For The Damned were next on the stage and they were thrashing and blasting straight out of the gate. I got a kind of “doom” vibe with their breakdowns and certain portions of their songs, their music seems to stay further from melody and closer to simple chugging and thrashing. They had the crowd going even more than the previous bands with circle pits, more bobbing heads and even a small wall of death. For me personally, this was the weakest of the opening acts but the way the crowd the was going, I’m absolutely in the minority.

Finally we come to the big guns, the reason everybody was there, Polaris. The stage was being prepared for the Australian metalcore heavy-hitters as there were extra lights being lit up and more far more smoke. As they were approaching the stage all went dark and there was a thundering sound pulsating through the venue, the crowd was twice as full and lights were shining everywhere and it instantly became clear that this was the main event. Polaris’ experience shone through as their songs were constructed far more impressively and their stage presence commanded a far more intense energy from the crowd as they initiated circle pits, crowd-surfing and even a small wall of death later in the set.

Frontman Jamie Hails did an excellent job or fuelling all of his energy into energizing and engaging the audience. As the band finally finished up their nearly hour-long set, the crowd chanted for an encore and understandably, the band obliged as they came out to play one more. This time though, the band commanded the room to go out with a blast and mosh the hardest they had yet, this was especially true when Hails called for one last wall of death, this time spanning the entire length of the venue and with that, the concert was over.


If you want to join in on the rest of the tour, you can find tickets HERE!

PHOTOS BY ANDREW BASSO