An eclectic crowd filled Allston’s Great Scott on Monday evening for jazz-fusion trio Trioscapes’ first set in Boston since the fall of 2012. Preceding the trio’s set were local prog rockers Protean Collective, whose heavy-hitting riffs and unapologetic bass grooves demanded the room’s attention. Guitarist Steph Goyer’s sweeping runs served as both a much-needed melodic break from some of the more drilling harmonies and as a reminder that female presence in the metal scene should not be easily overlooked.
Despite Trioscapes’ Dan Briggs’ renown in the metal community as the bassist of progressive powerhouses Between the Buried and Me, it was immediately evident that Briggs, alongside tenor sax/flute player Walter Fancourt (Casual Curious, Brand New Life) and drummer Matt Lynch (Eyris), felt just as comfortable on stage with this newer creative venture, which can only described as incomparable progressive jazz-fusion.
The trio kicked things off with a roaring track from their newly recorded album, “Digital Dream Sequence”, followed by the haunting and rhythmically-intensive title track from their debut release, “Separate Realities”. One of the more entertaining aspects of their set was watching the push-and-pull between Fancourt and Briggs; the two did an impeccable job of complementing one another during the more melodic sections while challenging one another in an artfully precise way. The next few songs in their set, “Digital Dream Sequence”, “Curse of the Ninth”, and “Mass Hysteria” reminded the crowd that Lynch is truly the backbone of the group, skillfully staying on top of the beat even through the near-impossible rhythm changes. “Mass Hysteria”, a track off of the new album, was a great showing of the band growing into their niche; after the release of “Separate Realities”, Trioscapes could have very easily gone down the “gimicky” path as a fusion trio, but the new material played on Monday showed that they are undoubtedly moving in a more focused, mature direction. To close out the night, Trioscapes played the unmistakable “Blast Off”.
Trioscapes have accomplished the feat of fostering a heavy, progressive sound without sounding contrived and inorganic as most contemporary bands do. They proved on Monday night that they are a sonically-challenging, truly unique act that will continue to make some genre-bending waves in the years to come.
By Vivian Ma