Polaris + Ocean Grove + Bloom @ SOPO [Live Review]

Review and gallery: JD Garrahy

Polaris is a band that just goes from strength to strength. Hitting the international scene and proving that Aussie metal isn’t all Parkway Drive and Thy Art, the Sydney locals destroyed stages worldwide, and well, now it’s the home country’s turn for such brilliance.

Embarking on a national regional tour, with some stellar supports, we see the lads front up to SOPO for what truly is a night to remember.

Launching into a hell of an opener set, Bloom doesn’t hold back in kicking things into overdrive. This tidy little quintet is here to prove they take no prisoners and they’re here to show exactly why the opening set is theirs to command. You can’t help but groove along to their brand of melodic metalcore. It just makes for a great starting vibe to the night.

Ocean Grove, well, I’ve said it before and ill say it again, if you haven’t listened to this Victorian coastal monstrosity, then what the fuck are you doing with your life? This is groove metal at its finest. Oddworld music, as it’s affectionately known to their hefty fan base. Dale and his band of merry men absolutely annihilate the collective consciousness of tonight’s crowd, and it isn’t too long before we’re all smashing our heads and having one hell of a sing along. Crushing it by opening with new track Fly Away, this is only a taste of how intensely satisfying 4 people can sound so much bigger than they are.

Changing things up for Light On Kinda Lover, with Dale and Twiggy switching duties was incredible, and Twiggy definitely holds his own as a frontman. Closing the set with fan favourite Junkies, its clear we all need more of Ocean Grove in our life. It’s motivationally uplifting and makes every bit of your mind, body and spirit feel positively amazing. Bring it back soon fellas, tonight was fuckin epic.

Polaris have had one hell of a year, and this tour was exactly what was needed to not only pay tribute to their friend and brother, Ryan Siew, but also to show that there’s still tremendous pep in their step following such a tragic loss. If Polaris set out to melt everyone’s faces off tonight, then they did exactly that. Grinding straight into The Crossfire, hearing Jamie Hails’ guttural roar just sets the heart at ease, and you feel a great sense of comfort to hear lyrics so profound and relatable through the PA.

The crowd is absolutely electric tonight, matching the energy that the lads are putting out on stage. It’s amazing to see how much this band has grown in such a small amount of time and with such a hefty back catalog, it would be hard to create a setlist that leaves everyone satisfied. But Polaris have done exactly that. Hitting every fan favourite from The Mortal Coil, The Death of Me and Fatalism, there isn’t one person here that doesn’t feel like they got maximum bang for their buck tonight. Paying tribute to Ryan was a highlight of the show tonight, with the crowd chanting his name, it gave the feeling that he isn’t truly gone, and his work will live on forever. We all miss you, Ryan!

As i said, it’s no easy feat to have an all-encompassing setlist, but when you “dust off the cobwebs”, as Jamie so rightly put it on a song like Sonder, you know you’re giving the fans exactly what they want. When it hits mid set though, fuck, it makes the whole feeling of this gig so much more special.

As soon as the intro for Masochist begins (a song that resonates VERY heavily with me), and Jake’s signature cleans begin, the crowd assist starts and it doesn’t stop until the very end of With Regards, a deep cutting emotional rollercoaster of this duo of tunes has been felt heavily throughout SOPO and probably beyond these walls.

Now, you follow this up with The Remedy and you just know the last of this setlist is going to be massive. With All In Vain and Nightmare up next, the Sydney siders give their everything to the end of the set. Finalising their show with Inhumane, the crowd goes absolutely ballistic and the pit is at its peak for the night with flailing arms, legs and torsos as far as the eye can see. This has truly been a show for the history books.

Departing a show of this magnitude is never an easy task, but with the memories that were forged tonight, we’ll all be talking about it until the next time we get to see this phenomenal band tour our great land.

Sunday 7 July: C.EX Coffs, Coffs Harbour NSW 18+ ^
Wednesday 10 July: Blazes Showroom, Tamworth NSW 18+ ^
Thursday 11 July: Panthers, Penrith NSW 18+ ^ Sold Out
Friday 12 July: Waves, Wollongong NSW 18+ ^
Saturday 13 July: Drifters Wharf, Central Coast NSW 18+ ^ Sold Out
Sunday 14 July: Beer Deluxe, Albury NSW 18+ ^ Sold Out
Wednesday 17 July: Prince Of Wales, Bunbury WA 18+ * 
Thursday 18 July:  Shelters Brewing, Busselton WA 18+ * 
Friday 19 July: Loop, Joondalup WA 18+ * Sold Out
Saturday 20 July: Bridgeway Hotel, Adelaide SA Lic AA * Sold Out
Sunday 21 July: Civic Hall, Ballarat VIC LIC AA * 
Thursday 25 July: Odeon Theatre, Hobart TAS Lic AA * 
Friday 26 July:  Forth Pub, Forth TAS 18+ * Sold Out
Saturday 27 July: Wool Exchange, Geelong VIC 18+ * Sold Out

Sunday 28 July: The Pier, Frankston VIC 18+ * Sold Out

Tickets from www.destroyalllines.com