I wanted to go see The Dillinger Escape Plan in August but my friend who likes them had to work both nights. I figured I’d see them next time. Then they announced they were going on “hiatus,” seemingly permanently, and I thought, for the nth time, “Once again I have failed to see a band I liked before they broke up.”
Fortunately, they meant they were going on hiatus after they put out their next album and after they toured it. So lucky me, I did get to go see them after all.
We came in during the set by Dead Tired. They made very little impression on me – they seemed vaguely metalcore (on the hardcore side of it, I’d say) but every song sounded the same.
Dillinger came on late, which I was already annoyed about because I had a Christmas party to go to and the start time was over 2 and a half hours after doors opened. I like the shows in theatres where the music starts when the show starts. Anyway…
I don’t like it when bands just play their songs like they sound on record. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I like bands that improvise at least a little bit. DEP are not that band, as, with very few variations, the music was quite close to how it is on record. However, the advantage a metal band has over other bands is metal is so much more impressive live – the sound of it (even in a not terribly awesome venue like The Opera House) is so immense and so in your face that this overwhelms other considerations.
DEP played songs from throughout their catalogue, even going back to their debut album, which did not feature their current singer. This was fan service, but a probable final show in a city should be fan service, right? They played three songs from my favourite record, as well as songs I like from some other records.
But above all, the impressive thing was the intensity of the performance – from the first note to the last, the band had clearly showed up to play. And both singer and lead guitarist stage dove more than once, which made a lot of people happy. (At one point the singer jumped from a juliet balcony on the second floor, which is something I’ve never seen before.) Even if the songs were pretty much the same as they are on record, the intensity with which they played them was not something I could ever experience on record, which made it worthwhile.
Glad I went.
PS And it was super affordable, too, which is weird for a last tour, I feel like. But then, this is mathcore we’re talking about.