TesseracT Livestream Review: “Portals” is a visceral visual wonder

As someone who hasn’t gotten a chance to catch any band’s livestreams yet, I was pleased to have the opportunity to catch both TesseracT and August Burns Red today. As the former is based in the UK, there’s a nice intermission between each for me to process these unique experiences. As someone dying to catch a gig but respecting the safety of the delay, I look forward to sharing my thoughts on each of these streams.

Securing my ticket was easy as could be. I value that in my checkout screen was a clear-cut link to the stream, so I could keep the tab open for when the time came. Another nice little technical aspect is how brief the URL is: portals.show/stream – quick to type and easy to remember. A Q&A/behind-the-scenes took place an hour before the stream – this was a great idea, so the tech team could iron out any issues before the main event while keeping the viewers engaged.

The live-stream environment is simple and functional. With an automatic quality setting, buffering time is greatly reduced so interruptions would be less abrasive. I only had to refresh once during the stream, so my immersion was maintained thanks to this. I was quite impressed to keep it at 1080p, all things considered for a live stream, as my PC sometimes struggles with this even on Twitch. There was an issue near the end of the stream during “Singularity” where it brought the flow to a halt for several minutes, but this should be fixed for recording viewings.

But enough about the tech-y stuff. You and I are here for TesseracT, a special, talented progressive act that’s had one hell of a career. The band was in great spirits during the Q&A, and looks like they had a blast creating this event. A foreword from bassist Amos thanked the fans wholeheartedly. The band appeared after a brief cinematic intro, and, boy, we HAVE to talk about their stage!

TesseracT performed Portals with plenty of breathing room. The drum kit had more cymbals than I could count, a truly massive unit atop a diamond-shaped throne (literally). The stage presence from each member had them looking as comfortable as one could imagine, with vocalist Dan throwing down during the breakdowns. The vertical light in the back had unique displays for each song, with laser-light-show moments shooting goosebumps up and down my spine thanks to their sparing usage.

The sound quality was purely unreal – where some live albums sound muddy, this had you feeling like you were in the same room as TesseracT, furthered by the amalgam of camera angles, directed to perfection with relevant moments taking the screen at just the right times, like a Dan scream or a bass bridge from Amos. The chat, as enthusiastic as could be, seconded this with comments like “I’ve seen heaven” and “PROGGERS” during the hype (some dedicated fans even typed along all of the lyrics as fast as they could).

Stretching over an hour and a half long, this is a dream come true for TesseracT fans wanting a feature-length headliner, especially those in countries the act can’t reach right now. It’s a bummer the last song had technical issues during the live section, but the playback is confirmed to fix it. If you’re not previously acquainted with the group (I haven’t given the band a good listen in almost a decade), I can easily say this will reel you in if you’re a prog fan on the fence. For the amount of jaw-dropping/goosebump moments this gave me, it’s a no-brainer for ~$20. The stream will be available to access until 6:59PM EST on the 15th, so don’t put it off!

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