The Dillinger Escape Plan at the Granada
The Dillinger Escape Plan by Jackson May
Playing to a good-sized crowd on a comfortable Sunday night, the Dillinger Escape Plan brought their inimitable live show to the Granada in Lawrence and left ruins in their wake. Dillinger is the largest mathcore band ever, dwarfing Botch, Converge, and Cave In, some of the genre’s originators. It is hard to believe that a band that plays a type of music that may just be the antithesis of popular music could be so renowned worldwide. Mathcore is deeply rooted in jazz-influenced interludes and jarring time-signature changes amidst metalcore riffing and harsh vocals, and no one does it in quite the way Dillinger does. Guitarist Ben Weinman is a spectacle on his own, constantly swinging his guitar like a battle-axe, standing on every amp in the venue no matter how high, and at one point he stood on a chair held up by the audience, played a bit, and then dove off. That’s a typical Dillinger Escape Plan show. Vocalist Greg Puciato was also bounding around the stage, making sure to get down to the crowd so they could scream lyrics along with him in his microphone. The crowd was very receptive with lots of stage diving, singing along and a constant moshpit for the entire show. Even with songs like “Prancer” and “When I Lost My Bet” off their upcoming album, there were loud sing-alongs. Things got particularly nuts when classic tunes like “Sunshine The Werewolf” and the violent “43% Burnt” were played. The band even included “The Mullet Burden” off their second EP and “When Good Dogs Do Bad Things” off their 2002 EP (which featured Mike Patton on vocals). The sound throughout the night was perfect – very loud but still clear enough to make out lyrics and even the backup vocals from the guitarists. The Dillinger Escape Plan has a method to their chaos, and it made for a great show from one of live music’s best performers.
The Faceless by Matt Atkinson
Providing direct support to the headliners was the Faceless, a technical/progressive death metal band from Los Angeles. The Faceless has been around the block more than enough times – for the past six years or so, they’ve been on virtually every high-profile metal tour. From multiple appearances on the Summer Slaughter tour to opening for everyone from Nile to Suicide Silence, the Faceless have earned their place in the annals of heavy metal through constant touring. Their brand of ultra-technical sci-fi death metal is impressive on album and in person, but the entire band could take a lesson from their vocalist and learn to have some fun on stage. However, opening with the three-part, 17-minute progressive death metal epic “Autotheist Movement” was extremely impressive. They have their own legion of fans who opened up the first moshs of the night and had lots of singing along, which is impressive for a band hat uses mainly death growls instead of singing. Fun, but they can definitely improve.
The Faceless by Matt Atkinson
The first touring band to play was Royal Thunder. They’re from Georgia and signed to Relapse Records – that description alone should be enough to paint a picture of what they sound like. The classic heavy/doom/sludge metal band hits all the points that are all the rage right now in the metal world – classic clean heavy metal vocals, riffing above all else and no fancy guitar solos! Royal Thunder wasn’t bad by any means, but they made no sense on this tour, especially sandwiched in between two bands who thrive on progressive music. They were a bit of a letdown, especially since the vocals were a hard to hear. They would thrive on tour with Mastodon or Baroness, but they were just a strange anomaly here.
Opening the show was Kansas City’s David Hasselhoff on Acid. This foursome might just be Kansas City’s best kept live music secret. The music is all instrumental, but they definitely had hints of Mr. Bungle, Tool, and Animals As Leaders. They got a huge reception, including some dancing, from the early show crowd. Each band member is talented and they play off each-other so well. A very refreshing take on the local heavy music scene.
The Dillinger Escape Plan setlist:
Farewell, Mona Lisa
Sugar Coated Sour
Room Full of Eyes
Gold Teeth on a Bum
When Good Dogs Do Bad Things
The Mullet Burden
Dead as History
When I Lost My Bet
Sunshine the Werewolf
The Faceless setlist:
Autotheist Movement I: Create
Autotheist Movement II: Emancipate
Autotheist Movement III: Deconsecrate
Legion of the Serpent
Ten Billion Years