As I got there I got an easy parking spot but the lot looked a bit fuller than I expected. As I entered, there were not many people milling about, but I could hear someone playing. I opened the door to the main room and immediately saw that there were several hundred people there and felt the heat from all of them and their movements. It was a little bit of a culture shock. I didn't know these guys had that cult following, and their followers seemed mostly younger, 'normal' looking people. I was immediately reminded of the Between the Buried and Me show, but that was mostly hipsters or whatever. Interestingly enough- Cloudkicker and Intronaut (who were also on the BTBAM tour) are on OTHER dates, just not this one. So it was just TesseracT and a bunch of locals. I wanted to see Wings Denied, but was... denied... due to having a Day at the Beach. Next time....
Merch: Tesseract had a few shirts, with their geometric designs. not sure how I didn't snap a photo. Nothing else that I recall tho. No prices listed :/
So they started a little before I got there, I think I missed one song from the looks /reports of it. I was amazed/amused/admonishing of the jazz/bass/funk pits. TesseracT has a lot of (for lack of a better term) Bass-heavy breakdowns. And the crowd went pretty wild for most songs- frantic pits and then jumping (so much jumping). I could feel the floor shake, similar to when Dragonforce was here at Jaxx, sold out and I almost got crushed. There was also a lot of crowd surfing and I think I saw people singing along. During the 5th song, one girl crowd surfed to the stage, and then turned around to see the signer (Ashe O'Hara) eye to eye. He held his mic up and basically asked "how's it goin?" She mumbled something that didn't get caught and kind of dazed lightly hopped back to surf again. I am not sure if she was intoxicated, dazed, or just not a fan?
The Good: they sounded great, and the energy from the crowd make it even more electrifying. Each song flowed to the next. I recognized one song (Nocturne), which was also great. A different type of fun than Day of the Beast et al. Less brutal, more... emotional? (I think... would need to read the lyrics... TesseracT's songs just... flow so nicely). Their kind of djenty progressive blend of metal/rock with a lot of melodic vocals. Their last couple of songs had some harsh vox that did seem a bit jarring compared to the rest of their set (not complaining tho). I def heard the bass featured more than guitar, but found myself not caring cause it sounded nice, felt positive, and I dunno like you're listening to a cloud or something. I basically loved their sound. They sounded very close to the album sound...
The Bad: ...A bit so close that you might not realize that the 5th and 6th members of the band were iBooks. This added to the authentic sound, but detracted a bit from their performance in that 'ok what was live, what was piped in'? I know there were some vocals piped in as well, which IMO I am not sure if they should have done that. I guess they had to pipe in the keys/synths, but why not hire someone from a power metal band who needs a check?
During a few points, the frontman threw water from his water bottle on the crowd (Ozzy Osbourne he's not). This was probably looked down on by me because it was freakin' raining all weekend long and I don't think it was awesome to come in from out the rain to have water sprayed on me. Just saying.
The Ugly: I like TesseracT's songs since I checked them out after wondering who the F these guys are that are playing Empire. I figured they'd be some sort of Progressive based on the name and imagery they were using. I was pleasantly surprised, but I could really not distinguish the songs from each other. I dunno if I get lost in the smooth flowing ooh-ing vocals and the floating keys, or if they really do sound that similar. Or I haven't investigated them enough/read lyrics/ listened to them on repeats. Whatever the case the setlist only had 2 filled in before someone else updated it. So that kind of AC/DC / some brutal death metal syndrome was a little concerning. However, it didn't prevent me from having a good time, because their songs just flow and sound so smoooooth! I did feel bad that I was not able to glean many details songs wise tho.
Overall, I realized I'd been to 4 shows in 3 days (a gauntlet without even realizing it), but not really worse for the wear. This was a really great sounding show, but I am still a little conflicted about the time conflict between this show and the Day of the Beast.
Next Show: Texas Hippie Coalition (unless I mysteriously win tickets to Dream Theater)
Of Photos- Tesseract
Tesseract (~10-11:06) thanks setlist.fm after my initial fumbling
- Of Mind - Exile
- Of Reality - Calibi-Yau
- Concealing Fate, Part 2: Deception
- (Unknown) (Maybe Of Matter: Retrospect )
- Of Mind - Nocturne
- Concealing Fate, Part 1: Acceptance