GIG REVIEW: TesseracT, Between The Buried And Me & Plini Live at The Tivoli Theatre, Dublin
On a cold winter’s night, one marked with goodbyes and farewells, the crowd formed lines outside Dublin’s Tivoli Theatre spanning the length of the street and then some. Each person there to give themselves entirely to the final date on a tour featuring Australia’s Plini, the much anticipated Between The Buried And Me, and the headline return of the one and only Tesseract. Yet if the bands were saying a fond farewell to the road, the Dublin audience were saying a final goodbye to a venue, with the show scheduled as the final of its kind to be held within the walls of the beloved Tivoli.
If Plini was known only to some prior to the opening moments of his set, before long he was known by everyone. The much dreaded opening support slot saw Plini pumping out well crafted, modern instrumental pieces that touch base with Jazz, Progressive and Metal styles, to name but a few, turning many curious heads as he did so. Plini’s intriguing sounds were matched by a charm and wit that played a strong hand in winning his first Irish audience over. So much so that when he spoke of his yet to be announced, though inevitable return, Plini received a warm reception which was thoroughly deserved. Enveloped by all and being spoken of in the highest regard, Plini left the stage with a job well done.
While they may have taken home the gold for pre-show excitement, Between The Buried And Me, unexpectedly and disappointingly, did not deliver that same level in performance on the night. However, responsibility for the downfall of their set was not solely on their shoulders. If what was offered on the night represented the quality of sound throughout the tour, then applications for a new engineer should now be open, as instruments yo-yo’d back and forth unevenly in the mix. Vocalist, Tommy Giles Rogers could barely be heard for the entire duration despite giving it his everything, while a feeling of sapped energy was strongly conveyed in performance by the rest of the band. With a crowd willing and wanting to love every minute of it, the polite applause that followed their set closer, “Voice Of Trespass,” spoke volumes.
If Tesseract, too, were unable to give everything they have to give, they certainly gave everything they had left to give. As a low, long droning tone hummed through the monitors, Tesseract took to their stage kicking things off with a bang, as “Luminary” launched both band and crowd into a state of frenzy. While vocalist and front-man, Daniel Tompkins, made no qualms about his tired state and desire to see his family, he and his fellow band mates promised not to sacrifice their show as a result of it.
Tompkins proved true to his word as contemporary Tesseract classics, including “Survival” and “Hexes,” came together like sonic soulmates alongside new favourites such as “Juno” and “King”. As bassist Amos Williams crept the stage barefoot and almost menacing, Tompkins lived on the edge of the stage, if he wasn’t off it entirely. Crowd diving, barrier standing and embracing his own unique brand of twitchy stage moves, Tompkins as front-man was some man for one man. By the time they closed the night, Tesseract had proved they’re very much on top of their game, and that their best might be yet to come.
If waves of highs and lows, and a handful of peaks and valleys, left a feeling of inconsistency throughout the evening, overall, the return of Tesseract to Irish shores sent no audience member home unsatisfied. Understandably, end of tour exhaustion, at the end of twenty back to back days, meant energy was low at times, and you always want to see your band on their best days. This may not have been their best day, but each gave everything they could muster,. leaving you wanting to see them again, and hopefully soon.
But not, alas, in the Tivoli, who closed its doors one final time in darkened silence. One haunted by the echoes of unforgettable nights.