Live: WAGE WAR // O2 Academy Islington, London
Following the release of their most anticipated record to date, Pressure, Wage War set out on an extensive UK & EU tour, with support from Thornhill and Ded.
Thornhill kicked off the night and soon got the early arrivers up on their feet, with a few enthusiastic crowdsurfers also emerging after only a couple of songs. It’s always inspiring to see fans reacting so strongly to support bands and tonight the Aussie boys proved they have what it takes to receive such feedback. They delivered an engaging performance with a professional attitude, yet clearly having a great time on stage.
Ded followed, taking the evening a step… heavier. With an unmistakably savage presence matching their name and a fierce energy thundering through every note, they are sure to leave their mark on every person that witnesses their live performance.
The most awaited moment finally came as Wage War graced the stage and began their set with an explosive first song, inciting their fans to join in on the riot. They didn’t need to insist as crowdsurfers started coming up, to the despair of the photographers in the pit and of the security crew. With low lighting, saturated colours, highest decibels and wild energy, the band delivered banger after banger throughout the night, keeping their fans headbanging with their horns in the air and provoking them to moshpits at all times.
A few songs in, Briton Bond took a short break to catch his breath and promote their new album Pressure to which the fans reacted with immensely positive feedback. Introducing the new songs, Grave was met with loud cheers and voices rising in the air as soon as the first lyrics came out of Briton’s mouth. If until now they went all heavy, this song introduced the new approach the band took for this album. Toning down the uproar and anger a bit, the band put forward a much richer melody and let the lyrics shine through more than before. Bringing Cody Quistad’s voice more to the frontlines, they made it stand out, while still blending perfectly with the heavy drums and relentless guitar riffs. The new songs put forward a lyrical maturity, consequently adding an unapologetically emotional twist to the sound their fans got used to up to this album and this moment in tonight’s show. You could feel the mood swiftly changing and embracing this new dimension of their favourite band, letting themselves be carried together on this journey of raw feelings.
“We’re ready to lose our minds London?!”, shouts Briton, giving the wake-up call to the crowd – things were about to get seriously heavy again and so the lights opened up, becoming more flashy, the energy in the room became ruthless again and the drums released their wrath. Absolute mayhem followed, however different from the first part of the set because Cody’s voice kept piercing through the madness, balancing it out. “That was beautiful London!”
Mixing in another emotional song, Wage War created the right conditions for the fans to calm down and come together by singing along to Gravity, before splitting the room in half for a ‘good old fashioned circle pit’. They attempted to end the set with Low, however fans weren’t ready to let them go despite a well thought through grand finale and begging for their return.
”You want a couple more London? OK, let’s go!”, screamed Briton, piercing through a heavily electronic intro and grabbing a guitar. Hurt set the scene for the last heartfelt moment of the evening, bringing people together to sing along and feel every word in their core. However, the band decided on a truly epic show end, bathing the room in golden lights while playing the old banger Stitch, letting their fans get wild one last time and mosh before heading home.
Photos: Adriana Vasile