Polaris, Wage War, Crystal Lake, Alpha Wolf @ The Gov, Adelaide 21/2/2020

The queues line up around the block, the excitement is palatable on the faces of the kids waiting. Today not only have Polaris dropped their amazing sophomore album, The Death Of Me, their tour also starts and ground zero is Adelaide.

While Polaris have been here a seven times in the last thirty months, it didn’t stop the sold out signs being put up within minutes of the show being announced. There is very good reason for this. They are quite simply phenomenal. Not forgetting where they have come from, the bring with them a sensational line up of local and international acts.

Opening is Alpha Wolf who stretch their legs, after being locked away in the studio for the last two months, with a typically ferocious performance. With the venue already swarming they lead the charge with the first circle pits of the nights. Playing from their stellar back catalogue , they do also drop a new song into the mix which immediately hits like a hammer.

Hailing from Japan, Crystal Lake may well have been from another planet such was the reaction of awe to the band that has taken 18 years to get here. They were outstanding. Vocalist Ryo constantly leaves the stage and is in the crowds face, at one point touching the ceiling while he sings. The band meanwhile try to get to every part of the venue with a display of electrifying showmanship. Pits are breaking out everywhere, sweaty faced crowd surfers rolling overhead and they are only second on the bill! Check them out at your earliest convenience.

Hailing from the States, Wage War have arrived with quite the reputation. The music has arena stadium energy attached to it which makes the more intimate setting that touch more special. With lots of moments for the crowd to sing, vocalist Briton Bond, who prowls the stage like a caged lion, get everyone involved as a great frontman should. Naturally they save the best to last and the exceptional tracks such as Hurt and Stitch bring the house down.

Which leaves the boys in Polaris themselves to somehow follow what has gone on before them. However today is their day as they open with The Death in Me opening track Pray For Rain, which is a brave move. It’s one that’s pays off as the day old track is greeted with the same ferocity from the crowd that the band open with.

Backing it up with another new track, the belting Landmine, the venue is beginning to concoct that magical element that we are witnessing something truly seismic. By the time Hypermania and The Remedy are unloaded onto the audience, both early in the set, everyone is caught up as one.

The security are working over time, as the surfers cascade over the front in dozens, the band working harder and asking for more again. Wall of deaths stretch all the way to the bar, the pits looking like giant whirlpools all played out to the soundtrack of Polaris, who keep dropping bomb tracks – one after another – that you visibly feel the room shake.

Dusk To Day, Vagabond, Consume and The Descent. Every single track is deployed as it’s the show stopping finale. The album nearly drove the band apart however by the time Lucid, with its glorious sung line of ‘I found my love and let it kill me’ rings out into the night sky, it’s clear it’s been worth it.

The audience is exhausted, singer Jamie Hails looks like he’s been stuck in shower and everyone knows we’ve just witnessed greatness. Today Polaris dropped their new album, they started their tour and they laid a marker musically that chapter three will be their biggest yet. They may as well rename Feb 21, Polaris day from now on.

Live Review By Iain McCallum

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