Words: Kelsey Trevan
Photos: Andrew Basso
It’s the final night of Polaris’ Spring Tour and a sold out 170 Russell in Melbourne is alive with energy as soon as doors are opened. There are 3 support acts for tonight’s show and with the stellar lineup of Melbourne locals Thornhill, Alabama’s Gideon and Ohio’s The Devil Wears Prada it promises to be a big night.
First up is Melbourne alt-metalcore 5 piece, Thornhill. They started with a bang, quite literally! That first hit of the bass drum was maybe just a little too loud but the genius on the sound desk was quick to fix that. Vocalist Jacob Charlton was alive from the very start of Thornhill’s set and was giving as much energy as he could to the quickly filling up crowd. The crowd were more than willing to play off that energy and it started to get very hot very quickly. If you’re a fan of bands like The Word Alive and Too Close To Touch, as well as the other three bands on this bill you should definitely give these guys a listen.
Next to play is Alabama hardcore outfit Gideon. The first circle pit of the evening sprang up during this bands set, as well as some crowd participation. During their track Freedom the crowd joined vocalist Daniel McWhorter and guitarist Tyler Riley in their chant of ‘freedom’ that was accompanied by fist pumping from the band and the crowd. There’s hints of A Day To Remember and early Bring Me The Horizon in Gideon and they put on a thoroughly enjoyable show. A definite highlight would be a guest vocal appearance from Jamie Hails during Bad Blood.
Christian metal outfit The Devil Wears Prada are up next and vocalist Mike Hranica played the entire set minus his shirt, showing off his extensive and rather impressive collection of tattoos. My attention personally was drawn to the bands drummer who was tossing his sticks up in the air between snare parts and displayed some of the smoothest double kick bass drums I’ve ever heard, The Devil Wears Prada’s set was loud, sweaty and energetic. The crowd were absolutely loving it and there were circle pits galore and the crowd were giving it back to the band as hard as they were getting it.
Finally, it was time for headliners Polaris to take to the stage. Tonight was the final show on their 2018 Spring Tour and they came out ready to absolutely kill it! Vocalist Jamie Hails, guitarists Rick Schneider and Ryan Siew, bassist Jake Steinhauser and drummer Daniel Furnari gave and gave and gave from start to finish and the crowd were lapping it up. Every single person was singing along for the majority of the set and the band were more than happy to encourage it. Jamie was also more than happy to encourage crowd surfers and crowd participation.
During Relapse Jamie encouraged everyone to get their phone torches out, telling the crowd ‘if you don’t have your phone light on you have to go to the bar and buy everyone a drink’ and called out a couple of people who may or may not have done as they were told. Polaris showered everyone with confetti to kick off Lucid and briefly left the stage after the song before returning for an encore. Before playing Crooked Path Jamie took a moment to thank everyone for coming out, and to dedicate the song to everyone who ‘has done everything in their power to stay by someone’s side, no matter how hard they tried to push you away’ and it was an emotion filled performance to close the show.
Circle pits, mosh pits and even a couple of walls of death were instigated and encouraged by the band and the packed crowd were happy to oblige. It was a loud, hot and sweaty night that nobody is going to forget for a very long time. I’d also like to congratulate the incredible lighting designer who increased the incredible atmosphere and ambiance from Thornhill, all the way through to Polaris. Having a great lighting designer makes such a difference and tonight’s was absolutely steller.
L’Appel Du Vide
The Slow Decay
Dusk To Day
In Somnus Veritas
The Devil Wears Prada