GIG REVIEW: An Evening With THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Live at Nottingham Rock City
My first gig of 2017 took place on January 21st 2017, as I went with some friends to see The Dillinger Escape Plan perform one of their last set of shows on their farewell tour in Nottingham, UK. Along for the ride as the support acts on the tour were Primitive Weapons and Ho99o9 (pronounced ‘Horror’) for those of you who don’t know. The tour follows the release of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s sixth and also final full-length studio album Dissociation, which was released in October 2016.
Primitive Weapons kicked off the show as the gig’s opening act, and were frankly a band I had never heard of before this show, if I’m going to be honest. I managed to catch their entire set except for the first couple of songs, but of course since the band are from the United States, the events which occurred the day before concerning the inauguration of President Trump were bound to be mentioned, and they were. While I felt that they were definitely the ‘weakest’ band in terms of performance quality across the entire line-up on the night, they were definitely entertaining and worth watching. They were certainly a decent start to the gig, that’s for sure.
Up next was Ho99o9, who is a band I first became aware of due to them being on one of the recent Download Festival line-ups. In spite of this, I had never listened to any of their music so obviously had no idea what to expect from them or their set. It’s rare that you see a band that puts as much emphasis on the spectacle of their live shows as much as they do on their actual music, but Ho99o9 were such a pleasant surprise. Imagine Bad Brains meets The Prodigy, and that to me is a pretty accurate idea of what Ho99o9 are like as a live band. Incorporating silly antics like throwing buckets of popcorn out into the audience during their set made things all the more enjoyable. If you get a chance to see this band live at a concert, do it. DO IT!
And now, it’s time to talk about The Dillinger Escape Plan. A classic band in the world of contemporary rock music, it is generally agreed. Some people hold their debut Calculating Infinity in the same esteems and respects as The Downward Spiral, Rage Against the Machine, OK Computer and other legendary albums from the 1990s. First and foremost, a special shout-out has to go to the crowd. I’ve been going to shows since I was 17, and the audience during the 90 minutes that Dillinger performed for may be the most intense I’ve ever seen to date, most notably having a full beer seemingly land on top of my head out of nowhere. The band members themselves (especially singer Greg Puciato and guitarist Ben Weinman) also behaved frantically, but considering it was the band’s farewell tour it would have been nice for them to have exhibited a bit more of the insanity that the band’s live performances became famous for once upon a time. In terms of the setlist, the gig included tracks such as ‘Symptom of Terminal Illness’, ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’, ‘Nothing to Forget’ and ‘Mouth of Ghosts’, before ending on ‘Sunshine the Werewolf’ and ‘43% Burnt’.
That brings another gig review to a close. It is somewhat sad that a lot of classic bands are calling it a day, as I was fortunate enough to see Motley Crue and Funeral for a Friend on their respective farewell tours over the last couple of years, as well as Twisted Sister’s final UK show at last years Bloodstock Festival. If you’re going to see The Dillinger Escape Plan on any of their final tour dates this year, you’ll have a blast, and deservedly so.