Tesseract, while never really appealing that much to me in the past, have always been a band held in somewhat high regard for doing a few specific things remarkably well. The group’s collective understanding of tone building, rhythmic syncopation and harmony has firmly placed them at the forefront of their genre. Tesseract have gone on to influence a huge number of younger acts, and will likely continue to do so for some time, especially given the recent success of their latest album, Polaris. The group recently played a handful of dates in Australia, bringing with them Caligula’s Horse and Plini and I was fortunate enough to cover the Brisbane date of this fantastic tour.
After a frantic journey inside a venue with frustrated lines of people extending out onto the street, I just managed to catch the beginning of Plini’s set. As one would come to expect from such a talented group, their performance was flawless. Being a guitarist myself, there was a lot for me to appreciate from my position at the front of the stage, with all members of the band effortlessly nailing their parts. The interaction between the band during difficult solos or transitions made for a subtle, but very appropriate stage presence. The exchange of smiles and expressions between the band members made it obvious how much they were enjoying themselves, which the extended to the audience, boosting the morale throughout the room. Seeing musicians who’ve undoubtedly played the same material thousands of times before still derive genuine excitement from playing their music is a magical thing.
After their set I made a bee-line for the bar, stopping on my way to briefly catch up with Plini and congratulate him and the others on the show. A beer in one hand and my camera in the other, I slowly progressed back to the stage as Caligula’s Horse kicked off. Having seen the band so many times of late, I couldn’t help but feel slightly bored by their performance. Yes, it was an awesome show and yes the band were extremely tight, but with only one new addition to their setlist I found myself anticipating every change that might have otherwise wowed the rest of the audience. I also found myself struggling to find creative compositions throughout their performance. Each time I framed a shot, I had an overwhelming thought that I had already taken that exact image at a previous show. Don’t get me wrong, the band have a particularly energetic stage routine, but it’s choreographed to the same group of songs that they’ve been playing for slightly too long.
With half an hour before Tesseract where scheduled to walk on stage, I figured it was a good chance to over the images i had taken so far. I realised what a mistake this was after sitting down to see twice as many audience members behind me as there was before, with more people filtering in as the seconds went by. Thankfully a friend shooting for Metal Obsession let me take her spot after I awkwardly pushed my way, camera first, to the front of the crowd. Being a relatively tall person, I can imagine that this upset most, if not all of the people behind me, but Tesseract’s subdued stage lighting meant my only option was to shoot up close. Going into this show with no real expectations as to what the band would be like in the flesh, I was hugely impressed by the group’s ability to accurately recreate their sound from the studio in a live setting. Everything from the guitar tones, to the soaring, pitch-perfect vocals was demonstrated without error they made it look easy! It was mildly intimidating just how comfortable and relaxed everyone looked, and yet my attention was locked on the stage the entire time, never once finding myself wondering how many songs were left or whether I had enough photos to get away with leaving early. This was a hugely enjoyable evening for whom I have Plini and Chris Maric to thank for having me there. Check out the photos below!