Live Review: Polaris – Brisbane 2023

Live Review: Polaris – Brisbane 2023



Connecticut metalcore band CURRENTS opened this huge night at the fortitude music hall this Friday, 15th of September. 

The energy at this rare all ages show was PALPABLE as the four walls that hold the hall up, we’re working hard, supporting the thousands of excited punters in the building. 

Vocalist Brian Wille took to the stage with ease as currents began to break through the house music that filled the spaces between. Playing tracks from their large discography, punters were treated with tracks from 2012, up to their current 2022 & 2023 releases, in particular ‘The Death We Seek’. It was pleasantly surprised to see how packed out this sold out show was by 7pm & how much the crowd sent it for Currents. An enthusiastic crowd and seasoned talent, currents set the tone perfectly. 


What I originally considered an odd choice on this line up, but the band I was most keenly anticipating: were Kublai Khan TX. Their metalcore roots may be their foundation but KKTX have morphed into a hard, heavy, tough  dream. Their Texas heat BURNED the fortitude music hall down, their self proclaimed ‘southern sizzle’ had entered the building & it was domineering. Vocalist Matt Honeycutt has an undeniable stage presence that demands your full focus, barking orders and wild statements…this shit was psycho. 

Coming out strong with this one liner:  ‘this one’s for the bitches’ before ripping into ‘The Hammer’ with the crispiest vocals that carried through the back of the enormous space – it was one of the strongest entrances I’ve witnessed in a long time.  Their energy as a unit was gnarly, hard and almost demonic. Honeycutt’s voice rang, ‘Say my name bitch, move those feet’ before unleashing ‘us & them’ – a ripper of a track from 2019s ‘Absolute’ which the crowd positively responded. 

Being the most grittiest and hardest set of the night, with endless zingers ‘‘Everybody with a set of eyes, I need you to self destruct’,  

‘I want you to feel unsafe mother fucker’, 

‘Bass drums and riff make you want big dick mf’…. It’s hard to not feel your most primal energy unleash & somehow feel your testosterone levels blow off the charts even if that’s not possible for a small girl. 

Ending the set on ‘Antpile’ and beating the microphone on his bicep – Honeycutt was clocked IN & on staunch duty tonight. 


Pennsylvanian metalcore group August burns red were next to take the stage post KKTX. From Texas heat to Christian metal, it was diversity within the metalcore genre and the crowd was there every step of the way. Playing a rotation featuring new music from their 2023 release ‘Death Below’ as well as tracks from 2009’s ‘constellations’ the balance between new and old was welcomed and made for a flowing set rich with dynamics and steady flow. 

The band as a whole, radiated positivity which bleed into their sound – you could easily spot their smiles as their performer with ease, seamlessly controlling the sold out crowd and rising anticipation for Polaris. 

Tracks ‘Mariana’s Trench, ‘composure’ & ‘white ‘washed’ went off the hardest with the crowd, as I looked behind me and realised I was surrounded by profusely sweating and screaming people, which I had somehow been unaware of as I was tunnel visioned down the barrel of my canon. 


Sydney’s Polaris take on a sold out fortitude music hall. As the house music dimmed & the elaborate stage lighting began to reveal its purple hues, there was a certain devotion lingering in the air, as the hoard of fans began to reach boiling point. Lights low, with just a slight purple eliminating the stage, vocalist Jamie Hails began to sing ‘Harbinger’ and the show was officially on. 

The smoke machine trickled down into the pit and the lighting grew more intricate as the song progressed – there were already people being pulled accross the barrier 60 seconds in, as if this were Woodstock 99, I instinctively guarded my cameras and decided this would have to be an eyes in the back of my head kind of shoot. 

With their new record ‘Fatalism’ only released 15 days prior on September 1st, – fans were already word for word, beat for beat, bar for bar. It was nuts to bear witness to such an emotional metalcore crowd, from barrier to balcony. 

Not only a united and sentimental performance, but one with such flair, confetti, air, and light show. Polaris put on a show that I could tell their fans loved every second of. I saw minimal phones out and mostly people giving them their total focus which was a pretty confirming sight to see. Being able to command such a room & hold the focus of those wanting to be purely in the moment with you is a special opportunity that I feel was not taken for granted. 

Dedicating their tribute of ‘Martyr’ (waves), After the recent hardships of losing lead guitarist Ryan Siew – Polaris were strong and united and played from the heart, you could feel the atmosphere was positive, loving and loyal – a strong exchange was shared here tonight in the fortitude music hall. 

The stacked 16 track set gave room for a 2 song encore of ‘Pray for rain’ & ‘The Remedy’ as red confetti fell over the crowd and a see of colour consumed the GA. A successful show for Sydney’s POLARIS.