PHOTO CREDITS: TERRY MARLAND PHOTOGRAPHY
Tonight's concert is a sell-out and as I approach the venue, I can see that there are long lines outside the venue, ahead of opening time, eagerly awaiting this intriguing triple bill. With so many venues seemingly struggling with numbers, this is a wonderful sight to see. I take my place #downthefront in the photo pit and await tonight's opening act, PLINI.
Hailing from Sydney Australia and essentially a solo artist, PLINI is joined by ‘friends’ on stage to deliver a vibrant opening set. The five instrumentals tonight are taken from his back catalogue of one full album and several EPs. Starting off with ‘Cascade’ featuring an ambient start before launching into a jazz-influenced guitar style laced with rock riffs. This sets the scene for the next half an hour as the mood changes from an almost smooth jazz to the hard-edged opening of the closing track ‘Paper Moon’ The auditorium is almost full by the end of the set that concludes with rapturous applause from the audience, many of whom are obviously familiar with the work of this gifted Australian.
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME have released two albums this year (or one album in two parts). 'Automata I' and 'Automata II', are the North Carolina band’s latest studio offerings.
Tonight’s six number set includes three tracks from this year’s releases. On the opening song ‘The Proverbial Below’ it’s evident that the sound gremlins are at play. Tommy Rogers’ vocals are barely audible. Things improve as the set progresses with ‘The Coma Machine’ from 2015's 'Coma Ecliptic' record, which is well received by the sell-out crowd. The set continues at a thunderous pace traversing musical genres. Labelled as ‘progressive metal’ there are many styles at play. It’s never far from rock but some songs, particularly ‘Voice of Trespass’, demonstrate the band’s versatility alternating between jazz, swing and rock in the space of one song. Only released this year it’s already a fan favourite and closes their set with the crowd shouting for more.
A powerful performance only marred by the poor sound quality.
Tommy Rogers: Vocals, Keyboards
Paul Waggoner: Guitar
Dan Briggs: Bass
Blake Richardson: Drums
Dustie Waring: Guitar
Tonight’s headliners TESSERACT take to the stage in explosive style. This band deliver note-perfect renditions of their album tracks to the backdrop of a stunning light show.
Promoting their latest album ‘Sonder’ the set starts with a pulsating rendition of ‘Luminary' from the aforementioned album with frontman Dan Tomkins commanding the stage with style while belting out pitch-perfect vocals.
The band are watertight in their delivery and the onstage solidarity is evident as the set progresses. “Nocturne” commences with its razor guitar riff that has the collected fans in front of the stage head-banging with some purpose. They continue in the same vein as they work their way through a mixture of back catalogue numbers interwoven with songs from 'Sonder'. All are met with animated responses from the Manchester gathering who are enthusiastically receptive throughout.
TESSERACT are a band with a growing fan-base who, aided by the stunning visuals, provide a spectacular performance delivered with precision and showmanship. Now eleven years into their career they are accomplished artists who deliver what their audience expects and then some. There are still plenty of opportunities to see this band over the coming months with some dates already sold out.
Alec Kahney - Guitar
James Monteith - Guitar
Jay Postones - Drums
Daniel Tompkins - Vocals
Amos Williams - Bass
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