Polaris Concert Review-Nile Theater Mesa AZ 11-03-23
Concert Review and Photos By Maxwell Williamson
The Fatalism North American Tour headlined by Polaris with support from Currents and Varials delivered an emphatic punch to the Mesa, AZ masses on a beautiful Friday night.
A sold out Nile Theater is a telltale sign that an exhilarating night is ahead.
The Nile Theater, for those who are unfamiliar, is a smaller dimly lit venue that has weathered countless numbers of bands – rock, metal, death and just about every other music genre you could think of for nearly a century. The SRO open floor venue was jam packed wall to wall with a boisterous group of fans eagerly awaiting for the show to kick off and blow this weekend into high gear.
Slated first on this night of metal madness was a metalcore Fearless Records powerhouse band, Varials, who hail from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As the Varials took to the stage, they wasted no time in commaninding the room with their heavily aggressive sound that was met by a sea of fans who were saluting these guys with their horns held high! The band opened with the track “The New Damnation” which was well received by the Mesa, AZ maniacs who immediately broke into a chaotic circle pit!!
Ripping through their eight-song set, the band kept the energy level high, at an upper threshold – until they had a laptop meltdown which overheated during their closing song “Stigmata”. After a brief pause to solve the problem, they picked right back up where they left off, which once again reignited a furiously raging circle pit that would continue up to the end of their blistering set. The fans gave these guys a roaring approval for their great set and setting the bar high for this night of metal mayhem.
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Next to hit the stage were metalcore heavyweights out of Newton, Connecticut, Currents. These guys have been making massive waves in the metal community since the release of their newest product “The Death We Seek” via Sharp Tone Records. The popularity of Currents was evident this evening by the surplus of fans who were rocking the band’s T-Shirts throughout the crowd. Coming off a headline tour over the summer which featured a stop at this same venue, they put together a galactic nine-song set, with most the songs coming off the aforementioned The Death We Seek album. The setlist truly featured something for everybody. Their musical style ranged from very technically played guitar riffs, to bass heavy breakdowns, and a dynamic range in vocals that shifted from brutal growls to melodic sing-alongs. Bassist Christian Pulgarin was certainly the most animated member on stage. When he wasn’t perched at the mic stand belting out boisterous backup vocals, he could been seen meandering about the stage with a radiant smile that emitted a very contagious energy. Their phenomenal set list was capped off with the track “Unfamiliar” which left the audience hungry for more, as they chanted for one more song, one more song!!
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Hailing from down under – Sydney, New South Wales, Polaris embarked on the Fatalism North American Tour to promote their most recent release of the same name, Fatalism, which was released September 1, 2023. Fatalism is the follow up to their vastly successful 2019 release The Death Of Me, which was the LP that launched these guys to becoming a household name in the metal community.
The Fatalism era unfortunately had a sorrowful side to it as this would be the last work the band would release featuring their late guitarist Ryan Siew who tragically passed away June 19, 2023. Vocalist Jamie Hails took time during the middle of their set to touch on the matter by imparting that this was their first tour since losing their brother and advocating for all fans in attendance to check on their loved ones routinely. He went on to say; if anyone was going through a difficult time, don’t hesitate to speak out and to never, never ever give up! Filling in for Siew on this tour was Jesse Crofts the guitarist of fellow Australian metalcore band, Windwaker.
The band put together a heartfelt fifteen song set that was delivered with an energy that was unmatched this evening and ignited their show from the very first note played! For most of their set, a massive circle pit engulfed a large portion of the floor that was tornadic in nature; casting out participants like that of debris being cast from the outer edges of an F5 tornado on it’s tumultuous journey. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Richter Scale picked up the vibrations in the room during the track “All Of This Is Fleeting” when the room split for…“the wall of death”! The Nile Theater became nothing short of bedlam for the duration of their set. Aside from the continuous mosh pits throughout their set, there was a steady flow of crowd surfers and a continuous roaring sing-along, each time bassist Jake Steinhauser belted out lyrics to their ever so melodic choruses. If you are unfamiliar with Polaris, I highly suggest checking out their work, they have a great catalog of music, be it their newer releases or their early work, you are sure to find something for your listening pleasure and you will enjoy what you hear! Be sure to check their touring schedule and mark your calendars so you don’t miss the chance to see them when they come to your area. This is a performance every live music fan needs to witness, experience and be a part of! Pure exhilaration from start to finish, I was honestly blown away!
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