Live Review: Tesseract & Future Static @ The Croxton

6 May 2024 | 4:09 pm | Rod Whitfield

"Frontman Daniel Tompkins is in stratospheric form this night, singing, screaming and performing like his very life depends on it."


Tesseract (Credit: Andy Ford)

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In their two decades of existence, and especially since the release of their debut EP and album in 2010 and 2011, UK progressive metal act Tesseract haven’t just built a huge worldwide following, but a real, magnetic aura. With every new release, and indeed every live show, their enigma grows. So when they make a pretty rare appearance Down Under, you be there, by hook or by crook. It may be four, five, six years before they come all the way out here to shower us with their magnificence again.

And show up, we do. In droves. The venue is almost at capacity at 8:20pm for the support act.

Speaking of the support act, what a fabulous choice Future Static is. The Melbourne (Naarm) natives have been earning several excellent support slots recently, as well as doing their own headliners and touring internationally, and it’s easy to see why. They explode onto the stage, hell-raising and all guns blazing. The sound is enormous, to the point where the swell of the music overwhelms the vocals a little initially, although it sorts itself out over the course of the next few tunes.

That’s a good thing too, as the vocals, and the vocal delivery, are a very strong feature of this band. Frontwoman Amariah Cook is a nuclear-powered pocket rocket, her cleans clear and true and her screams gut-wrenching and dead on the money every time. The vocal partnership she has built with bassist and backing vocalist Kira Neil is an absolute weapon.

This band is hungry, this band is angry, their angsty energy flows like a tsunami from their very cores and out into the enraptured crowd. But it does so in a fun way at the same time. Future Static channel their anger into something immensely positive. It’s an anger that puts a massive cheesy grin on your face, and their set has you riding the emotional ebb and flow every step of the way with the band.

For 40 blistering minutes they slam out a set heavily slanted towards their album of last year, Liminality. Highlight, for this humble scribe, is the emotionally wrenching power of …And The Walls That Were Built, surely one of the best songs released in the last few years.  One minor disappointment with their set – their blistering cover of Daddy Yankee’s Gasolina – is nowhere to be seen or heard tonight.

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Of course, it doesn’t matter so much when their own material is so ridiculously strong. Tonight, there is little doubt that Future Static win people over and go home with a bunch of new converts in their back pocket. They absolutely deserve the supports and the plaudits that have been coming their way.

By the time TesseracT hit the stage, the room is veritably teeming, packed to the very back.

What a juggernaut they are, what a truly cathartic experience their live set is. First up, the sound. The sound. While FS’s sound was huge, TesseracT’s sound is an all-enveloping 80-minute detonation, an unstoppable tidal wave of noise. But it is far from unpleasant, far from noise for noise’s sake. Such is the flawlessness of their performance, it’s like they are miming to the records, even though you know they are absolutely not. Everything is crystal clear (well, as much as it possibly can be at such titanic volume levels anyway), every vocal line and all instruments have their place and can be heard.

Sound. Check.

Performances? Frontman Daniel Tompkins is in stratospheric form this night, singing, screaming and performing like his very life depends on it. He even shines on the one track we get from the Ashe O’Hara era, the fabulous Of Mind – Nocturne. Behind him, the band execute the complexities of their music with polyrhythmic precision and perfection, but also with passion. The juxtaposition of the two is one of many things that make this band so damn good.

Performances. Check.

For a 70-minute set proper, plus two enthralling encores (Concealing Fate’s part one and two, Acceptance and Deception, from the debut EP), we get 80 minutes of flawlessness, a transcendent live music experience from the very top shelf.

Value for money and enjoyment for the punters. Check.

On top of all this, and putting the cream on a very tasty cake, the lighting effects are eye-popping, making this show a true audio-visual spectacular.

Breathtaking show. Check.

What a night. Fortunately, we will get to see Future Static again soon. Hopefully the wait to see the almighty TesseracT again will not be too long.