BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME,/PLINI
SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE, LONDON
An excited queue snaking around the venue before doors open is testament to the strength of this progtastic bill. Up first, Aussie guitar wiz PLInI has only released one album, but every tech aficionado here is geeking out over his proggy, jazz-flecked melange. North Carolina’s BeTWeen
THe BurIeD anD Me are instrumentally mindblowing from frenzied opener The Proverbial Bellow through to off-its-tits closer Voice Of Trespass. But frustratingly, Tommy Giles’ vocals are lost in the chaos, blunting the force of their impact. Prog metal trailblazers TeSSeraCT, however, are crystal clear and on righteous form. Selling out this venue is a massive deal, the well-deserved result of 15 years of consistent growth and experimentation. That’s affirmed by the doting crowd who go batty the entire evening, starting with the crunch and shimmer of Sonder’s Luminary and the dark, deep grooves of early One material. Dan Tompkins’ vocals are glorious throughout, especially on Phoenix and Survival, then towards the end of the set he leaps into the crowd. With his legs in the air, head beneath a knot of surging bodies, every lung in the room is screaming the chorus to King in joyous unison. A late contender for set of the year.