Live Reports

Polaris brought the Death Of Me Tour in Antwerp!

Polaris finally got the chance to play their new songs live in front of the Belgian audience. Well. New. The album has been released in January 2020 and was supposed to be the beginning to a huge year for them… before the pandemic stopped everything. In this cold night of September 2022, they made their return. A great one but not really the night expected…

Like all the bands in the industry, the Covid-19 has changed all their plans. Some bands with a worst timing than others. When some acts were at the end of an era and ready to enter the studio to write some new stuff, others like Polaris just went out from the studio and release a new killer album: “The Death Of Me”. A second full-length that proved that the Aussies were the next big thing in the metalcore scene. Sadly, we had to be patient before getting the chance to finally see them live again… A first headline tour cancelled. Another one – the mighty Never Say Die! Tour – cancelled too. September 2022 is the good one. Finally.

Stepson – Kavka Zappa (Antwerp) – 17.09.2022 // FreakMike Photography for CtrlAltMusic.

To open this this evening, they brought some friends from Australia: Stepson. Not a lot of people to catch them live sadly. And thanks to the bad service – as always – from De Lijn, we only saw 2 songs from their set. Not enough to have a concrete opinion about them but they were just as promising live as they were in studio. A young band you need to keep your eyes on them.

A LINE-UP ALMOST 100% AUSTRALIAN

After an interview with Jamie from Polaris – coming soon on our website -, we went back in the room to see once again Great American Ghost, the only non-Australian band on the line-up. We say once again because they were already touring in Europe 4 months ago, opening for Fit For An Autopsy at the Trix Club. Also playing as second band, they didn’t have a great response from the audience. Tonight was fortunately a bit better. A small pit, some sing-along in the last songs and their singer going everywhere on stage or in the crowd in the middle a wall of death. They definitively had a better time than last time, so did we. They old-school metalcore and their new album “Torture World” release earlier this year is bringing them slowly but surely higher in the metal scene.

Alpha Wolf – Kavka Zappa (Antwerp) – 17.09.2022 // FreakMike Photography for CtrlAltMusic.

The night won 2 levels with the next band: Alpha Wolf. Like Polaris, they had so many tours announced in Europe during the last 2 years… being postponed and cancelled every time. Opening for Polaris on the initial “The Death Of Me Tour” in May 2020, then announced as opening band for the Thy Art Is Murder tour, then on the Fit For A King tour. Cancelled again and again. And like Polaris, they are still counting on the album they release in 2020: “A Quiet Place To Die” released in September 2020 via Grayscale Records. Even if they also released a kick-ass Split EP with Holding Absence last month “The Lost & The Longing” including the single 60cm Of Steel played tonight. During almost 40 minutes, Alpha Wolf delivered a strong set between metalcore and modern nu-metal vibes. Heavy as fuck. They liked it and so did the crowd. Moshpits and many walls of death.

POLARIS DESERVED WAY BETTER THAN THAT

Imagine being in a band and finally touring again in Europe for the first time in almost 3 years – the last Polaris show in Belgium was in November 2019 as main support of Northlane, you have a lot of expectations. The same for your fans who have been waiting so long to hear your new songs live. And when it’s finally happening, it doesn’t happen the way you wanted. How cruel is that?!

Polaris – Kavka Zappa (Antwerp) – 17.09.2022 // FreakMike Photography for CtrlAltMusic.

Starting more than 20 minutes earlier than announced by the promoter – the band had to leave for the UK after this show -, Polaris had to relaunch their show 3 or 4 times due to technical issues. At the same time, Jamie (frontman) had to announce us Jake (bassist – clean vocals) won’t be able to sing his parts due to sickness. Which means at least a third of the songs will be only instrumental… unless the fans sing loud enough. Spoiler alert: it won’t be happening.

Is it the failed start? The set-list? The lack of people in the venue? The bad weather? A bit of everything I’d say but the show took a long time to raise the minimum level we could expect from this night. In a venue with a 500p capacity, only 200 people showed up. A real shame for this line-up and Polaris. Was it too ambitious to tour without any new songs release in almost 3 years – except the single with PhaseOne this Summer? The huge first show in Germany the day before said it wasn’t. Just not enough motivated people in the venue. Sadly.

During 1h10, Polaris did their best to make the crowd move. Asking for walls of death, circle-pits, jumps, sing-alongs, etc. Hear the song without any Jack voices, especially on all the catchy chorus, was a bummer. But was it the band’s fault? A bad timing. Everybody can get sick and after such a worldwide pandemic, we can be sure that they’re not taking risks. At least, we can mention the sound was really good and the new songs really sound great live.

This was a very frustrating night for us and for Polaris too for sure. But they made the best show possible in such conditions and we can’t wait to see them soon enough next year for some festivals and other indoor shows! Fingers crossed the audience will respond and that Polaris will get the show they deserve!

Polaris – Kavka Zappa (Antwerp) – 17.09.2022 // FreakMike Photography for CtrlAltMusic.

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