15 September 2018 at The Metro
Although summer hasn’t yet made its mark into the Sydney night, hordes of ‘proggers’ and metalheads flocked to the Metro Theatre to watch the UK powerhouse TesseracT, as part of their massive Sonder Australian tour. While already playing a few shows before Sydney, TesseracT showed the audience that they don’t slow down, and in the three years since they’ve been Down Under for their previous release Polaris, they show us that they’re only getting better. Evolution and new albums only mean improvement for the band, in the studio and on our stages.
Getting the night kicked off were Sydney locals Glass Ocean, showing off their guitar techniques and unique sound, to a crowd that wasn’t yet engaged. Although there was more movement on stage than in the crowd, Glass Ocean boasted a maturity beyond their years, with their sound yielding a modern twist on the progressive pop of the late 90’s, sugar-coated with a subtle hint of pure and incorruptible sensuality making for an unforgettable musical experience.
Next up were Circles, the main support from Melbourne. The alternative progressive rock powerhouse are definitely the next step in the evolution of heavy music. Fresh of their latest release, The Last One, the intricacy, the emotional heartstring pull of the lyrics and the sheer force in their performance showed the Metro Theatre that they’re in a class of their own. The band’s uniquely designed stadium-like riffs and dynamic grooves, beautifully contrasted with the breathtaking soaring vocals and catchy hooks; showing the signature sound that all prog fans love.
And then TesseracT began their set. Each member of the band entered individually, ending with the band frontman, Daniel Tompkins; surely getting the largest applause of the night. Beginning the hour and a half set with Luminary, a personal favourite of mine, fresh off their latest release Sonder. The crowd started headbanging and singing, Dan continued to communicate with the members in the audience during each song, making people’s nights and bringing smiles to the members in the crowd. A highlight of the evening was when Concealing Fate Part 3 – The Impossible was played towards the beginning of the night, and Dan jumped into the crowd to sing the chorus with the fans. Each song got the crowd more and more energetic; as the night progressed, the crowd began to start a mosh pit that is reminiscent of a more traditional metal gig – proving to their audience that they can be light and delicate with their music when they want to be but also can make heavy, deep riffs that strike you in the chest when they play them, taking your breath away.
Playing songs from their whole discography, there was not a chance people could’ve been disappointed with the setlist. Showcasing their whole career into an hour and a half set, TesseracT showed Sydney that they really are one of the best in the scene for what they do. Each individual member of the band showed their own talent and enthusiasm, either by guitar, drum and bass solos. The band played a prodigious set, with a hefty 14 songs in their jaw-dropping set. Ending with some of their crowd favourites including Of Matter – Retrospect and King from their latest release, and wrapping it up with Concealing Fate Part 1: Acceptance to give the crowd once last chance to move. By the end of their set, the Metro Theatre was filled with smiles and applause. It encapsulated their entire career and if they ever come again, I’d highly recommend going.
Line-up: TesseracT, Circles, Glass Ocean
Reviewer: Elias Tannous
Photocredits: Jab Photography