LIVE REVIEW: Textures & The Contortionist

Where: The New Parish in Oakland, CA

When: September 20

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Highlight: Complex, high-energy sets of progressive metal

It was a night of progressive metal and surely the majority of the audience had come to The New Parish to see Periphery, the powerhouse of the genre. What was most noteworthy about the night, though, were the two opening bands who warmed up the crowd.

The Contortionist, whose debut album Exoplanet has received praise from both critics and fans, kicked off the evening. The music was performed with the precision that was expected from this group, but the stage presence left the audience a bit cold. The band was very stiff and lacked interaction with the crowd. Some of this can be attributed to the young age of the guys. Keep an eye on this band, though. You’ll certainly be hearing more about them in the months and years to come. Musically, the act was excellent.

The biggest surprise for the night was provided by Textures. The six man group from Tilburg, Netherlands proved to be awesome performers and the music was even more impressive live than on their albums. Stef Broks was every bit as awesome a drummer as he’s talked up to be. The rest of the band did not fall short in their performances, either. The group’s music was complex with abrupt stops, as well as changes in pace and rhythm. What was impressive about the band was the obvious joy of performing, interacting with the audience and with each other. Their high energy was contagious and very soon the crowd was jumping around, singing along to the songs. Even the small stage didn’t hinder the band. The combination of complex music and comfort level in their performance should be an inspiration for all live bands.

photos by Miikka Skaffari

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