Dillinger Escape Plan Are the Best Live Band on the Planet

Categories: Last Night

summer-slaaughter-5.jpg
Mike Brooks
Dillinger Escape Plan
House of Blues
July 26, 2013

The Dillinger Escape Plan are the best live band around right now. I'm putting that right out there straight away, because I believe it to be true. There is nothing to match their intensity, their musicianship, the sheer magnetism they create between band and audience. You can try, as this concert did, to derail the show - put them in a venue that says they can't go out into the audience or the show will be stopped, put nine (NINE!) bands on before them, have the whole evening finished with by eleven at night. They're still going to put on a show that's the musical equivalent of a runaway train that you're directly in the path of, tied to the rails.

Let's go from the beginning. One cannot attend a DEP gig sober. I'm pretty sure that anyone attending a DEP show while entirely in their right mind would have a terrible evening. Thus, it is perfectly acceptable to exchange the nine support bands for a nearby bar. Much as I would like to have seen Periphery, the need to be suitably tanked before having one's face melted by the incomprehensible assault of five enthusiastic men from New Jersey is overwhelming.

Stumbling from West End Pub towards the House of Blues at about the time we guessed DEP would take the stage, we encounter no one and see no one. The foot traffic in the supposed tourist attraction of the West End, despite the perfect hour and day, is still evidently not up to standard. although by this stage it might be the blinkers effect of an excess of liquor. Falling into the House of Blues during a set change to the DEP, we arrive in time to see their logo hoisted onto the back of the stage, and this whole evening is on.

I should explain that the last time DEP were in Dallas, they went through Prophet Bar on an off-night from supporting Mastodon, and the whole concert was legendary in its insanity. It was on one of the nights where the Rangers were in the World Series, and it wasn't particularly publicized (the concert, not the World Series, everyone's seen that), so there were about fifty people in attendance, at most. There was no security beyond mob rule.

Within possibly five seconds of the start of the first song, backflip stagediving started. At some point, a drunk guy who had been punching everyone near the front stormed the stage to confront Ben Weinman, the guitar player, during a rare introspective keyboard solo. Rather than call for security or flip out, Weinman tore the drunkard's shirt clean off (you know how Hulk Hogan used to tear his shirt off? It was like that, only Ben wasn't wearing the shirt and it wasn't staged) and physically threw the guy back where he came from, at which point he was fantastically "escorted out" by the mob rule that was in charge of the venue. This one incident tells you all you need to know about DEP. There are some bands who stage this sort of untouchable intensity, but when it comes down to no security, fifty fans, and stage invasions with bad intentions, would announce they're getting the fuck out if everyone doesn't calm down.

DEP are not that sort of band. Within about fifteen seconds of them taking the stage on Friday night, it was perfectly clear that they were intent, as they seem to be every night, on melting the faces and crushing the skulls of everyone in a ten-mile radius. The opening 1-2-3 punch of new single "Prancer," last album's tale of annihilation "Farewell, Mona Lisa," and all-time favorite "Milk Lizard" is the opening fusilade to end all opening fusilades. By the time the smoke from that opening triumvirate clears, the look on people's faces is one of utter terror and confusion, as if they've just witnessed the beginning of an unexpected war. And they have.



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8 comments
iabrooks
iabrooks

I was the guy who jumped the barrier. I was also at there the last time they played in Dallas, and I had seen them in Austin back in May - after which I could barely move for a day or two. 

The HOB and Summer Slaughter really suck for how hard they tried to ruin that show. I think DEP did a lot with how little they were left to work with, and I would never turn down a chance to see them, but you could feel the frustration in the room...from DEP and anyone who had seen them before.

Worst part is I've been telling Mike Brooks (guy who took the pictures), for literally years, that this would be by far the craziest, most awesome show he had ever seen, and then we ended up with Diet DEP. Hopefully he will go see them again at a better venue.

Alejandro Monjaras
Alejandro Monjaras

Just don't get to close to the state back in 02 at the canyon club the guitarist with his swinging guitar lost his footing and bam! guitar to the head. Have a bald spot on my head now and probably a concussion at the time lol but I eded up with a free DEP hoodie after the show.

DEPdude
DEPdude

Actually, it was security that kicked the drunken dude out of the dallas show, but whatever

MrsMachine
MrsMachine

We need new adjectives to describe the phenomenon of a DEP live show because  "exuberant" just doesn't cover it. Farewell, Mona Lisa, followed by Milk Lizard...my poor woman's brain could barely cope.  I have bruises on my bruises but I don't want them to heal. They are amazing and I love them. 

TLS1
TLS1

If you're drunk enough even Creed could be the best live band ever.  I don't doubt DEP puts on a kick-ass show but it sounds like your Jack and Coke goggles were on mighty tight.

DEPdude
DEPdude

@TLS1 Dillinger is the best live band out there right now. This is coming from a sober person.

JustSaying
JustSaying

@DEPdude You may be sober but you are hardly impartial, Dillinger Escape Plan dude.

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