Sunday, February 28, 2016

Tesseract / The Contortionist @ Baltimore Soundstage 12/6/2015

I went to see Tesseract ($13) at Baltimore Soundstage for the last show of 2015. Last time it was sold out at Empire, so I made sure I got a ticket before hand. Also, there was some promotion for cheaper tickets as well! I think Jason, Erin, and Scott were there. Tesseract just released their latest album Polaris, so this tour would be promoting that.

The show was pretty crowded, although I don't think it was quite sold out. But there definitely were hundreds of people there, probably ensuring a return booking. The crowd was that odd mix of normal people, hipsters, indie kids, and a few and metalheads.

Merchandise was pretty plentiful, and they had all sorts of ridiculous shirts. I didn't get anything but I think shirts were about $25 each. I recall a shirt with a cat on it, but I didn't get quite that great a photo of it.

I first saw most of the Contortionist this evening. I'd seen them headline before the previous year at Empire, but I really didn't think they were as good as that time. The crowd seemed to dig them, but I was not feeling them for whatever reason this time around. They certainly still are very technical, but I think songwriting may need to have some more growing. They had some window thing behind them which looked kind of cool.

Setlists with Tesseract (from the UK) has always been a challenge because most of the songs flow into each other (and some sound rather similar). The last time I saw them, the whole experience flowed so nicely.
Assuming that we got the same setlist as other nights in the tour, we got four from their latest, Polaris, five from Altered State, and a few from their first album, One. Thankfully they did NOT play the worst track off their new album ("Utopia," with rapping or the like), which would have been horrible to hear. The bass kept things moving through the entire set, they just have that groove. I just enjoy their overall sound of smooth progressive rock, and I don't get too stressed about the details with them. Although, some people did seem like they were singing along somehow.

Tesseract had a Christmas trees with lights on it on the right side of the stage, as it was December I guess. That was the extent of their stage show besides lights and some fog. This simple setup was fine for them, as there was more of a relaxed vibe for them, no moshing here! At times the singer was drowned out, but for the most part the mix was good and the sound pretty clear. Behind me some guys were talking about completely unrelated things kind of non stop. Not sure why I didn't move sooner. In any event, I thought their set was totally worth coming up to godforsaken Baltimore on a 'school night.'

Overall, it was a pretty decent show, but I would have liked to see a different band than the Contortionist open for them. I can definitely see the appeal that The Contortionist may have for most Tesseract (or progressive appreciating) fans, bu they didn't click for me this evening. This would turn out to be a nice end for the shows of 2015, not quite going out with a bang, but still very enjoyable. I would have enjoyed seeing TSO, but I was not able to make it out.

Next show: Lamb of God

The Contortionist (8:30?- 9:14 thanks, the show before and after had the same setlist...)

  • Language I: Intuition
  • Language II: Conspire
  • Integration
  • Thrive
  • Primordial Sound
  • Flourish
  • The Parable

Tesseract  (9:45- 10:58 thanks, the show before and after had the same setlist so I think this had that too)
  • Dystopia
  • Messenger
  • Concealing Fate, Part 2: Deception
  • Concealing Fate, Part 3: The Impossible
  • Hexes
  • Of Matter - Proxy
  • Of Matter - Retrospect
  • Of Matter - Resist
  • Of Mind - Exile
  • April
  • Of Mind - Nocturne
  • Survival
  • Concealing Fate, Part 1: Acceptance