Gig review: The Dillinger Escape Plan – Garage, Glasgow – October 29th, 2010

Opening up for one of metal’s most respected and revered live bands is surely a great honour, but one would assume that it can also be an intensely difficult task. This was proven to an extent by The Ocean [7], whose somewhat lethargic post-metal style seemed not entirely conducive to a crowd of adrenaline-fuelled mathcore lovers. There is no denying, however, that the band impressed on a purely musical level. The infecting riffs, versatile vocals and powerful progressive elements offered up were all very good, and although they rather failed to set the world alight, they can take heart from a decent performance.

Rolo Tomassi [9], though, have demonstrated time after time that their live shows are of a standard far superior than simply “decent”, and the Sheffield quintet were once again on typically blistering form. The band opted to incorporate several tracks from magnificent recent album ‘Cosmology’ into the set, and the likes of euphoric masterpiece ‘Kasia’ and the brilliantly mind-boggling ‘Unromance’ proved to be as awe-inspiring in a live setting as older material. Keyboardist and vocalist James Spence’s distinctive relentless energy was more apparent than ever, and the lovely Eva Spence overcame technical difficulties with aplomb to display her extraordinary vocal skills in stunning style. Most musicians would struggle to get an audience back on their side after saying the name of another city by mistake, but it is testimony to the charming nature of Eva herself, and the band as a whole, that her message of “Thank you Birmingham” was met with nothing but laughter. Overall, this was another fantastic showing from one of the very best live bands in the UK.

Somewhat outrageously, this was the first time that The Dillinger Escape Plan [10] had paid a visit to Glasgow since February 2008, and given that the band’s status as one of the finest, most riotous group of live performers across all genres of music has long been cemented, this was undoubtedly one of the most eagerly anticipated shows of 2010 for many in attendance. It is a measure of how far Dillinger have come in recent times that the venue for this gig, the Garage, has the capacity to hold several hundred more bodies than the Cathouse, the scene of that memorable performance of over two and a half years ago, and from the moment the New Jersey mathcore masters surged into view, piledriving their way through a stellar recital of the rip-roaring ‘Farewell, Mona Lisa’, it was immediately obvious that this increase in scale would not result in a loss of impact. Chaos had erupted on both sides of the barrier, and was only heightened by the glorious freneticism of ‘Fix Your Face’ and ‘Room Full Of Eyes’. The burly, supremely talented vocalist Greg Puciato was faultless in maintaining his crowd’s uninterrupted frenzy, along with guitarist Jeff Tuttle, who seemingly refused to remain stationary for any given second. Lead guitarist Ben Weinman, though, provided surely the most gripping spectacle. The mastermind behind the majority of everything associated with his band, not only are his skills in both guitar and showmanship utterly spectacular, but he is also an incredibly proficient pianist, as he proved during the totally compelling ‘Widower’.

Classic anthems ‘Black Bubblegum’ and ‘Sunshine The Werewolf’ marked the peaks of the madness, swarms of bodies soaring in various directions during both. This was balanced out by the calm yet menacing crescendo of ‘Mouth Of Ghosts’, whose inclusion on the setlist was a most welcome surprise. It was the deadly one-two finish of ‘Panasonic Youth’ and ‘43% Burnt’, however, that truly emphasised why this band is so exceedingly crucial to the heavy music climate of today. With the five men ostensibly competing with one another to find who plays with the most intensity, the complexities of these tracks were executed with such precision and vigour that it was frankly impossible not to be overwhelmed. An abrasive and impassioned climax to a genuine masterclass in the art of live music, this was the manifestation of a group of dedicated, exceptional musicians at the height of their talents. Glaswegians will not be too enamoured if they are forced to wait another two and a half years for the next time they are graced with DEP’s imposing presence, because quite frankly, a Dillinger Escape Plan gig is pretty much as good as it gets.


About JJPorter

JJ is a 20-year-old student hailing from Scotland, who lives and breathes music. His favourite genres include a variety of styles of metal, as well as hardcore, punk, and just about everything in between. Contact JJPorter on Twitter or via Email.

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