Live Reviews

LIVE REVIEW: Polaris, THECITYISOURS, Boston Music Rooms, London, 11/06/2023

It’s a hot, sticky night in the nation’s capital and as a sold-out crowd descends on Boston Music Rooms in Tufnell Park there is a great sense of excitement in the air. Tonight, the capacity crowd is in for a real treat, a one-off headline show from one of the most exciting Australian exports in recent years. The superb metalcore maestros Polaris, who are swinging by the old smoke for a special treat on the back of a career defining performance at this year’s Download Festival.

The opening act for tonight comes in the form of THECITYISOURS. The local lads take the stage and set about whipping the crowd into a frenzy with their intoxicating blend of bouncing heavy riffs, colossal breakdowns and infectiously melodic choruses. The boys make light work of winning over this sold-out crowd, disarming them from the outset with their sense of humour and enthusiastic approach to everything. The band also get an emphatic response when they make a special thanks to the venue for not taking a cut of their merchandise sales (a subject that has quite rightly been causing quite the stir in the scene) and exit the stage with undoubtedly a whole horde of newly-acquired fans. 8/10

As Polaris take to the stage the temperature in the venue has reached uncomfortably high levels, with the steam rising off the crowd as they prepare for the Aussies to start. From the moment the opening chords of Vagabond ring out the band have their audience in the palm of their hands. If you thought there was ever any chance of the boys nursing a post-Download hangover are quickly swept aside as they fire through the likes of Lucid and Landmine to a rapturous response.

One of the highlights of the set comes in the form of the new single Inhumane. The freshly released track sits perfectly in with the setlist and provides the perfect insight into just what the band have cooking for their forthcoming album. It is also worth noting that the fans have done their homework and have the words nailed down, singing them all emphatically back to the overwhelmed vocalist Jamie Hails. The track Hypermania is one of the finest that the band have written to date and is treated as such tonight. When the band dropped it as the lead single for their previous album The Death of Me, it was clear that this song had the potential to be a live staple and the reaction from the crowd only cements that fact, with the only reprieve from the deafening volume of the mass singalong coming in the form of a breakdown that threatens to reduce the very building to rubble.

By the time the band roll out The Remedy from their beloved The Mortal Coil album the temperature in the building has reached an almost unbearable level, with the ceiling starting to show signs of dampness and the band members looking like they’ve been doing lengths in the local swimming pool. However, the momentum doesn’t slow and the boys show no signs of fatigue much to their adoring fan’s delight.

When you see the kind of adoration and unrivalled devotion in the crowd tonight it really makes you wonder just how high the ceiling is for a band of this calibre. Polaris have proved time and again that their live show is amongst the biggest hitters in the metalcore genre and they deserve to be playing venues twice the size of this humble room. and when you consider that they have tunes like Masochist in their bag of tricks it seems almost laughable that this isn’t being played on the stage of arenas and high up on festival bills.

With a new album on the horizon and a UK-based fanbase waiting like hungry dogs for their next serving of metalcore it seems like the boys are going to be taking giant steps up the ladder very soon. You can’t help but wonder as you look at all of the sweaty, exhausted faces and the collective beaming smile shared by everyone involved tonight whether it may be the last time we see Polaris in a venue of this size on these shores. 9/10

Written By: Rich Webb
Richard Webb
A Kentish lad in his early thirties. I'm a journalist that loves anything grizzly and gruesome whether it's in music, film or art. My guitar and vinyl collections are amongst my prize possessions and my wardrobe is predominantly black.