Like Moths to Flames + Polaris + Afterlife @ Fairmount Theatre – September 23rd 2019

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Like Moths to Flames

Like Moths to Flames took their Eastern Canada Tour to Montreal on this rainy Monday evening, along with Polaris and Afterlife, for an unforgettable evening for all metalcore fans from the area. 

Afterlife showcased songs from Breaking Point, their first LP. The latter received some backlash after its release earlier this year (describing the band as generic and cliché), but the band’s honest and direct approached got me hooked and I was looking forward to seeing them live; they didn’t disappoint. Frontman Tyler Levenson knew how to pump up the crowd and getting them ready for the rest of the evening, requesting circle pits and walls of death throughout their set, while playing some of their most catchy songs, including “Vicious Cycle”, “Throat”, “Holding On”, and “Giving Back the Pain”. Their style reminded me of a heavier version of Linkin Park, mixed with Cane Hill and Sylar, with frontman Tyler Levenson singing, screaming and rapping over the music. Despite addressing serious dark topics such as mental health, depression, anxiety, and domestic assault, Afterlife put on an energetic and heavy show and gave the crowd a lot of (head)bang for their buck. I look forward to hearing what they’ll put out next, and hopefully see them headline a tour, who knows?

Polaris was next on the Fairmount Theatre stage and started off their show at 9PM for a 30-minute set (Way too short if you’re asking me!). Words cannot describe their performance. Not only did their debut album The Mortal Coil became one of the most memorable metalcore releases from 2017, but their live performance is one of the most impressive I’ve seen in a while! Frontman Jamie Hails was a showman on stage, getting everyone hyped up throughout their entire performance. His energy levels never dropped, and he could maintain the quality of his screams without any issues despite jumping around and headbanging nonstop. He was a total beast on stage, with a big smile on; you can easily tell that he genuinely loves performing live, and the fans were more than happy expressing their love for the band, obeying when Jamie asked for a “CIRCLE FUCKING PIT” and for a wall of death. Playing their hits “The Remedy”, “Relapse”, “Crooked Path”, and finishing up with “Lucid”, Polaris delivered (in my opinion) the best performance of the night. The crowd couldn’t get enough of them and screamed their name at the end of the set for a few minutes, and I surely think that they wish they would’ve played a few extra songs as much as we did!

I’m obviously not saying that to give any less credits to headliners Like Moths To Flames. Their performance was outstanding as well, but it was hard to surpass Polaris that night. The band started off their set with “GNF”, a classic from their debut album When We Don’t Exist, showcasing Chris Roetter’s screaming ability right off the bat. “I Solemnly Swear” from An Eye for an Eye was next, followed by “Nowhere Left To Sink” from their 2017’s album Dark Divine and their brand new song “All That You Lost”. The start of this set was like observing the band’s evolution through time, from 2012 until today, an entertaining journey through time that ended in a crazy banger that perfectly answers the negative critics the band received regarding Dark Divine. The rest of their set was also a melting pot from their various releases, with songs such as “You’ll Burn”, “The Worst in Me” (my favourite song from LMTF), “Wither”, and last but not least, “Serpent Herders”. Just like Polaris’ performance, Like Moths To Flames’ was strong, energetic, and aggressive from start to finish, giving the crowd exactly what they were expecting. My main regret would, however, be the length of their set, that was only 45 minutes that felt too short for me, especially for a band that has such as wide sample of songs to pick from, but I guess that is what has to happen when there is a total of 5 bands during the evening! Ideally, I’d be inclined to only see three bands with all of them getting more time on stage, but I understand there’s also value giving local bands the chance to perform in front of the same crowd as bigger bands. Nevertheless, this evening was a great example of what the metalcore scene has to offer: a crowd headbanging and screaming in unison to the sound of their favourite artists.  

Like Moths To Flames Setlist

  • GNF
  • I Solemnly Swear
  • Nowhere Left To Sink
  • All That You Lost
  • You’ll Burn
  • The Worst in Me
  • Wither
  • You Won’t Be Missed
  • Bury Your Pain
  • Serpent Herders

Review – Maxime Le Huidoux 

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