APRIL 28, 2017
MERCURY LIVE, CAPE TOWN
''I know I speak for everyone when I express my immense gratitude to the wonderful folks at Turning Tricks Entertainment for organising this event, and the guys in TesseracT and their crew for taking the time to come to our humble little corner at the tip of Africa.''
The hype was real. All across social media and word-of-mouth the anticipation of seeing one of the most respected bands live in our home town was profound. While we wait patiently for the doors to open at The Shack enjoying a pre-game drink – and everyone is all smiles. Knowing that this once-in-a-lifetime event was just a few hours away has made fans and tag-alongs alike ready for an experience that ultimately would blow their minds right into the heliosphere. Outside the venue the line has already started to form as we are all eager to get inside and secure a place near the front. It is quite inspiring to see so many people come together and share in this experience.
Cape Town’s own fast-paced darlings of prog-metal band Verona Walls have the honour of opening up for juggernauts Tesseract. Right from the start, their presence on stage sets the crowd alight as they whip us into a frenzy. Their songs weave seamlessly together and I have to say this set is by far the tightest I have ever seen them. Verona Walls have delivered a truly enjoyable ride – one that I’m sure they will cherish for the rest of their lives – and no doubt have gathered new fans and respect.
After a short break and all Verona Walls’ gear having been dispersed from the stage, the crowd behind me starts to morph – larger and larger. I look back and I see smiles of excitement and it truly is a beautiful sight to behold – almost as if we are all one entity, no longer made up of individuals. The main lights dim and we are surrounded by a swarming blue haze and a drone from the PA system. The stagehand tells me to keep my beers off the stage - which I respectfully adhere to – and we all know this means we are only moments away from what we have been fervently waiting for since Turning Tricks announced the gig back in October of last year. There is a colossal roar as the band takes to the stage. This is it. The air is palpable. We cannot hold back anymore, and as Dan (vocals) starts the set off with ‘Phoenix’ singing the words ‘YOU EXIST’ there is not one person in this venue that is not covered in goose-flesh from the ecstasy and overwhelming expectancy of it all. The performance is so good and tight that one could think they are robots – but, no they are men who have worked tirelessly to earn themselves the moniker as one of the best live bands in the world today.
Acle and James (guitars) are freakish in the way they gel together from opposite sides of the stage, while in-between them Amos (bass) locks the groove with Jay (drums) in such a precise manner that you may think they have an invisible neural link. Dan’s vocals are otherworldly. I can honestly say I did not hear one bum note (sure there were a few from myself and those around me singing along, but not from him). He has had to reestablish himself in this band, but in all honesty, it’s as if he never left. We are treated to a set list that is definitely full of fan favourites from the new album such as Hexes and Messenger, as well as the whole of Concealing Fate and Nocturne (a song everyone in the crowd was obviously dying to hear as Mercury literally shook). As Tesseract wrap up and announce the end of this spectacle, they share their gratitude to the audience and there is a collective sense of having woken from a dream – was this real? Have we really just witnessed this…and why is it over? If it was a dream it is one I wish could reoccur every night. The whole evening had a magical feeling to it and I have not heard one negative thing said about it. For a while there we were not individuals…we were a collective sharing a stream of thought emanating from five humans exposing their souls