It all started Last Wednesday, at Rockin’ Buffalo during that Carnivora show Mass Casualty hopped on last minute to help boost attendance. Ms. Lindsay Leland of Pollock fame stopped by, and the topic of British progressive metal act Tesseract was brought up. she said she was getting an opportunity to see them on Friday; they were one of the opening bands on Megadeth’s summer tour, along with show openers Lillake and the almighty Meshuggah.
Actually it was the first date of the tour, in a place called Big Flats, NY, at an outside venue called Tag’s Summerstage. I vaguely remember Meshuggah announcing this tour, and passing it off because I assumed that there was no way Big Flats was anywhere close enough for me to justify driving to. It was probably one of those outskirts that caters to NYC fanbases. I found out very quickly that when you assume things, you risk missing out on awesome experiences. So, low and behold, after a quick google, BF was only about two hours away. Lindsay offered to let me tag along, and I was sold.
We showed up right before Lillake played their last song, and I don’t believe it would be fair to judge their performance on hearing a five minute song from the parking lot. From what we gather, they only had a 30 minute set, roughly, anyway.
Tesseract too had too short of a set, which seemed to be the theme of the night. Miss Lindsay had to say… “They opened their set with their brand new single called “Smile“. New album is anticipated to be released next year. They played a short set but in that time were able to play songs from all three of their albums. Mostly clean vocals, ambient backing tracks, thumping rhythmic bass riffs with heavy guitar giving it that “djenty” vibe. Tesseract is ideal for music listeners who look for djent, prog, ambience in the mix.” They sounded very much like Periphery to me, sans harsh vocals. with Tesseract due to release a new album next year, and talks of a 2018 Periphery tour, I would certainly not be surprised if the two were to tour together. You heard it from me first, but don’t ask me how I know. *wink*
And then… Meshuggah. Honestly, I couldn’t believe I was seeing Meshuggah, finally. They’ve been one of those “bucket list” bands for me for almost a decade. Though I very much wish I could have been closer, their performance was still so surreal, and without question, they completely stole the show. Djenty riffs aside, Tomas Haake completely blew my mind. That man is otherworldly and I believe he is the most talented musician on the whole tour. The frontrunners of the djent movement jammed songs mostly from The Violent Sleep of Reason, but also played songs off of Koloss and Obzen.
I don’t think it’s fair for me to critique Megadeth‘s set either; I can tell you I definitely heard “Holy Wars”, “Sweating Bullets” and of course, “Peace Sells”. Whereas I can’t speak for everyone, I felt I could tell a defference in reactions to older and newer material. I don’t know what it is with you guys hating new material, but I digress. Regardless, Megadeth is the only out of “The Big Four” that I’ve had the opportunity to cross off the “SEEN” list, and I am eternally grateful.
I think the true highlight of the night was when James Monteith from Tesseract came to hang out with us during Megadeth’s set. He was incredibly friendly and personable. I remember him saying “Everyone in my band is already asleep, but… I love Megadeth… Megadeth taught me how to play guitar when I was 14…” ; so really, he’s living a true childhood dream for the next few weeks. And though I got to talk to him for only a couple hours, I believe he absolutely deserves it. James is more proof that if you work hard enough, dreams really do come true.
Truth be told, I was absolutely expecting a larger crowd. For years, I’ve been reminded that Megadeth is “#2”, to Metallica. But man, is it really that huge of a difference? I can imagine that if it was a Metallica show, I’d have been nut-to-butt with a sea of drunken superfans all night. But I suppose I don’t want to dump the decent attendance solely on Megadeth’s lack of popularity. I am more than okay with blaming the severe lack of promotion on most of the bands’ part, the odd choice of a venue in the literal middle of nowhere, and kids like me assuming that Big Flats was too far of a drive to be worth it. It was, however, only the first day of tour, and they all have lots of time to catch up.
If you have an opportunity to catch this tour again, I firmly believe you should (dates here). But if you only want a taste of what this tour has to offer, Tesseract will be in Buffalo at the Waiting Room on July 12 with Megadeth tour openers Lillake, along with Astronoid and local prog heros Amputecht.