As I walked into the Miami Shark Bar on a chilly winter’s night, I was immediately hit with a blast of hot, heavy air laden with so much expectation and anticipation, you could almost see it lingering above the swathe of black shirts and long-haired punters in the room.
Newcastle hardcore/melodic metal band Polaris – named after the brightest star in the constellation of Ursa Minor- were on the last night of their sold-out regional tour and neither the band nor the audience were showing any signs of weariness.
The Gold Coast’s very own She Cries Wolf kicked off the evening to an already-packed room. TTheir tight set, driving riffs and challenging yet extraordinary songwriting set the scene for an incredible night of hardcore.
Stepson were up next with bassist and vocalist Jayden Ridley really upping the ante. These guys were the definition of energetic. With their catchy riffs, head-banging tracks and cries of “get in the fucking mosh pit Gold Coast”, it was time for me to firmly secure my earplugs and resume my position towards the back of the room.
JFTD (Justice For the Damned) were the final support band and they were so good, my friend actually thought it was Polaris. The Sydney-based quintet are a bit of a mix of metal, hardcore and punk, yet somehow it works. Earth-shattering riffs from their ‘Dragged Through the Dirt’ album, as well as thudding bass lines that shook us to the core had the whole place jumping and the sweaty crowd wanting more. However, JFTD were the equivalent of the calm before the storm as when Polaris took to the stage, the energy in the room skyrocketed.
From the opening track ‘Sonder’, it was clear Polaris had the audience in the palm of their hands. Not only were people fist pumping and head banging, but they were also screaming the lyrics and crowd surfing like it was 1997.
The band played a mix of old favourites alongside songs from their debut album ‘Mortal Coil’, including stand-out tracks ‘In Somnus Veritus’, ‘The Last Decay’ and ‘Consume’. Vocalist Jamie Hails led a smooth and solid set, pausing only to encourage the crowd to get amongst it. (Not that they needed much encouragement – it was one of the loosest mosh pits I’d seen in a very long time).
The combination of metallic, melodious songs and dirty/clean vocals was right on the mark, and the whirring drumsticks of Daniel Furnari, and thunderous guitar riffs had everyone out of breath and screaming for an encore.
Following this energetically-charged gig, it is without a doubt that Polaris are stars in their own right.