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POLARIS, w/ Wage War, Crystal Lake & Alpha Wolf
Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Friday 28th February, 2020
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Honestly, what were we expecting? When Polaris announced this tour, we knew exactly what was coming. Coming hot off of a highly anticipated album release, and bringing an impressively monstrous lineup with them, ‘The Death of Me‘ Australian Tour was set to be a monumental string of performances from the moment it was announced. There’s nothing more telling than the fact that this is Polaris’ fourth fully sold-out Australian tour in barely as many years.
Melbourne’s explosive hardcore act Alpha Wolf had a mammoth undertaking that involved getting a sold-out crowd ready and warmed up for such a massive night. With the usual attire we have come to expect—Sabian’s ominous face mask and streetwear style, Lochie’s iconic bucket hat and John’s buttoned up Polo—Alpha Wolf’s set was surprisingly refreshing. Having seen them at Invasion Fest last month, I was expecting more of the same, however something felt fresh and almost reimagined about their set, delivering an impressive amount of energy and memorable sections to an immediately awoken crowd. Sub-Zero was an absolute standout part of their set, and got the crowd warmed up and entirely ready for what was to come.
Next up was a band I was incredibly excited to see, Japan’s very own metalcore titans Crystal Lake. From the moment they graced the stage, their performance was jaw-droppingly tight, dynamic and impressively commanding. Whipping out favourites like Machina, Lost in Forever and Apollo, the Japanese legends did not slow down at any point in their set, achieving massive singalongs, crowd-destroying breakdowns and anthemic passages that pulled in even the fans who hadn’t heard of them prior. Crystal Lake are a band you simply have to check out.
Following this was American heavyweights Wage War. Doing well to maintain and even progress the wild energy of the night, the band did not disappoint as they put on their renowned set of high quality metalcore tracks. Crowd favourites Low, Who I Am and Stitch did well to engage the huge crowd before them, and despite becoming a bit repetitive in the later stages of their set, Wage War certainly put on a high quality show that felt perfectly suited to the already stellar lineup before and after them.
The culmination of all of these amazing acts came on at 9:35, as Polaris made a colossal entrance to their biggest hometown show in history. With an ambient build up that quickly impacted into the introduction of Pray For Rain, a well prepared crowd didn’t hesitate for a second, as they immediately joined Polaris in an explosion of energy that rocked the Enmore Theatre. If I could only say Polaris did one thing in their stunning hour of performance, it would be that they solidified without any doubt that they are one of Australia’s greatest ever heavy bands. What makes Polaris so special is something I see in quite few bands, and that is that every single one of them ‘carries’ the band themselves, coming together to make a quintuplet that simply can’t be faulted. Daniel Furnari rocks a drum kit like few others can, and guitarists Ryan Siew and Rick Schneider deliver a riveting performance in both their rhythmic and lead work.
Jumping from crowd favourites like Crooked Path, Hypermaina and The Remedy, along with surprising old material like Unfamiliar, Polaris did not miss a beat and they proved themselves just as we knew they would.