GIG REVIEW: An Evening With THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Live at Pontiac, MI
A storm blew through on October 17th 2016.The Dillinger Escape Plan brought their Dissociation tour to Pontiac, Michigan at The Crofoot Ballroom. It was intense, enjoyable and bittersweet.
Opening the show was Bent Knee, a six piece band out of Boston, Massachusetts. Not a band you would expect to see opening up for The Dillinger Escape Plan, as it wasn’t hard core metal but a mix of rock, indie and progressive music. It was an eclectic set and proof that the violin can rock. The crowd was hooked with the bands infectious rhythm of haunting sonic sounds. It was a nice calm way to start the show. Up next was four guys based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, known as Cult Leader. The pace picked up noticeably as they tore through a set of hard hitting heavy metal songs that got the crowd movin’ and a moshin’. Some early technical difficulty had the vocals of Anthony Lucero drowned out by the music. The vocals got fixed as the band continued tearing along, keeping the energy level high.
Lowering the intensity with the third opening band, O’Brother, was a nice change of pace which allowed the crowd to continue being entertained while recovering from the previous band and resting for the headliner. Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, O’ Brother consist of five members who aren’t afraid of being different as they played heavy but experimental type of music which the audience enjoyed.
Headlining the night was The Dillinger Escape Plan, a five member group based out of Morris Plains, New Jersey. These guys don’t seem to know the definition of the word, relax. The swirling wind outside had nothing on these guys, with brash in your face music and vocals, the crowd was immediately amped up. This was my first and unfortunately probably the last time I’ll see The Dillinger Escape Plan as they will be disbanding after the tour cycle ends for their latest album, ‘Dissociation’. It was a sight to behold and delight to the ears to witness the chaotic action happen in front of my eyes. It was a tricky show to photograph as the opening song ”Limerent Death” was full of strobe lights, making it difficult to shoot and haphazard as band members twirled, jumped up on boxes at the front of the stage and swayed around with a force of authority. Even though the band is breaking up, fans were treated to the full Dillinger experience over the course of 16 songs.
The band and fans were as one as the crowd sang along, moshed and crowd surfed as they fed off the intense energy of the band. Lead singer Greg Puciato and guitarist Ben Weinman got up in front of the barricade to sing with fans, and Weinman walked out onto the crowd as he was held up with many hands of support. The unpredictability of Dillinger is a formula they have perfected over their twenty years of being a band. It’s the punk rock attitude they bring that keeps you on your toes and always anticipating what they might do next. As I was watching from the back of the room, the band was jamming away and suddenly I see an object fall from above. It took me a few seconds to register that Puciato jumped from the balcony onto the crowd. That’s some hardcore rock n roll stuff right there.
To have the faith and dedication of the fans to know they will support you is a wonderful thing. But eventually things do come to an end and the guys decided to end things while they are still on top. I don’t know if they realize how much they’ll miss each other once the band is done and over with. Time will tell. But it would be hard to fathom these guys playing with the intensity and reckless abandon when they are in their sixties. So seeing this band go out on top in excellent form, leaves lasting memories of how great these guys were during the time they performed together. They recently released a new album for people to enjoy, but do yourself a favor and go see them live before it’s too late and you’ve missed your chance. Who knows what chaos you’ll witness but it’ll be a damn good night of fun put on by one of rock n rolls best. Live it up my fellow metal heads and Rock On!!