Concert Reviews

Dillinger Escape Plan Is Still The Best Live Band In The World

Dillinger Escape Plan With Tera Melos, Vattnet Viskar, and Baring Teeth Trees, Dallas Thursday, May 1, 2014

Last time I saw the Dillinger Escape Plan, I informed you of their status as the best live band in the world. I took ten months, searching up and down, over hill and dale, from sea to shining sea, and yet here we are again. Dillinger Escape Plan is still the best live band in the world, and it's not even remotely close.

At Trees last night, the Dillinger Escape Plan did not care for how you felt. Perhaps you felt that you'd like a quiet night in. If you were ready for some rock music, maybe you at least felt you'd like one or two songs in the middle where your face wasn't melting. Well tough. Dillinger melted the faces of everyone involved in this concert, and they still had energy to spare.

It's not like there's ever a let up in pace. The entire concert experience is brutal. "Mathcore," the nominal genre that Dillinger are meant to be a part of, is really nothing more than code for, "We will hit all of the instruments we have, 100% of the time." It's furious. It's louder than is comfortable. There is not a single opportunity for a breather. No band should be able to play like this every night of a tour. Dallas isn't a particularly special night on the tour. There's no reason that this is the night DEP should give everything they have, because they always do that. (Sorry, no special treatment.)

Absolutely nothing is left on the stage. No one has under-committed to this show. The band starts out with a fusillade of "Prancer", "Farewell, Mona Lisa", and "Milk Lizard". It's not what your favorite live band might start out with. It's basically some sort of terrifying metal jazz, played at 400 mph. There's no deciphering it. There's no slowing down. There's no retreat, no surrender.

On the encore, there's a huge stage invasion. It's no longer clear who is in the band and who was part of the audience a few seconds ago. Everything is taken in stride. The band plays a cover of Aphex Twin's "Come To Daddy", because of course they do. The stage convulses, and the venue floor feels like the place where the party definitely isn't happening.

I look away. I look up. Some guy is flying directly into my face. The entire audience has decided to stage dive simultaneously. We're all knocked back. Everyone's on the floor. My face hurts, but it can't hurt as much as the guy that decided to jump off the lighting rig about 30 seconds ago. The entire venue is a sea of chaos, everyone entirely unsure over where they're meant to be. In short, it's perfect.

If you get the chance to see one live metal band before you die, please ensure it's the Dillinger Escape Plan. Every other metal band is but a pale imitation.

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Gavin Cleaver
Contact: Gavin Cleaver

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