October 22nd… A warm Sunday night throughout Brisbane’s city limits and boy was everyone in for a treat. Max Watts, hosting its very last concert within its walls, was presenting a near sold out crowd with the final Australian show for New Jersey’s own Dillinger Escape Plan. While it started slowly the line built up the end of the street with avid fans from across Australia and even from other countries.
Covering the east coast of the Dillinger shows were Melbourne’s own Closure In Moscow. Having seen them support many international acts before, I knew that we had some talented performers who were ready to bring it. With a very similar vibe to The Mars Volta/At The Drive-In it was quickly evident as to how they fit the bill to support TDEP, with the out of time but very well-functioning guitar/drum combo. Playing hit songs ‘Pink Lemonade’, ‘Seeds of Gold’ and ‘Happy Days’ they burst through their set and got the crowd warmed up for what was about to transpire. Definitely a band you should watch if you’re a fan of The Mars Volta.
With a career spanning 20 years (6 albums, 1 EP and a plethora of show-stopping moments shared in Australia and around the world), tonight was the last show of the bands final ever Australian tour and Dillinger Escape Plan weren’t planning on leaving without a proper goodbye. Starting off with a more recent track ‘Prancer’ from One Of Us Is The Killer, both the band and crowd exploded out of the woodwork and brought what looked like a war field to the inside of Max Watts. With singer Greg Puciato famously climbing on top of the crowd while screaming the lyrics, the show was already shaping up to be Gig of the Year in my books.
The energy that TDEP has always portrayed throughout their live performances is second to none. It’s impeccable how much movement from all 5 band members goes on upon gracing the stage. From climbing speaker boxes, walking across bar tops and crowd surfing while singing; this show had it all.
Running through songs like ‘Milk Lizard’, ‘Panasonic Youth’ and ‘Black Bubblegum’ it was clear that finishing while still in their prime was something on the bands minds. Hitting everything with perfect timing and bringing a very intimate feeling to Brisbane, that band had no trouble keeping the venue moving and smiling.
Having a moment of my own during ‘Farewell, Mona Lisa’ where I crowd-surfed to the front and sung a bit upside down with Greg sure brought a smile to my face (that I still wear as I am writing this piece). Have you ever had the feeling where you could just stand there and keep watching the band perform for as long as they could go for? That’s exactly how I felt tonight. Everything was brilliant and I couldn’t vouch for a better concert to witness if you’re even the slightest bit a fan of metal and its sub-genres.
‘Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants’ and ‘Limerent Death’ rounded out the gig before the band went off for a short amount of time before their encore. With everyone panting and out of breath but still chanting “encore” the band came back out and thanked Brisbane once again for showing them out in the best way possible for their last Australian concert ever.
Closing out a Dillinger Escape Plan set could easily consist of an array of choices, with the band deciding that tonight it ended with ‘Sunshine The Werewolf’ and ‘43% Burnt’ during which Greg walked along the table tops of the venue, bringing up an avid fan with him before sharing a crowd-surfing moment together. The venue erupted in chaos during the opening moments of ‘43% Burnt’ and I don’t blame them. The song is manic and makes you want to move about as much as possible, while also admiring the speed of drummer Billy Rymer.
With 7 shows left before completely calling it quits, the band will bring the energy shown tonight to New Zealand twice, Japan twice and then New York City for three nights. Whatever the band does after that will be a mystery, but we all know that if they ever did decide to venture back down under they’d be welcome with open arms.
Throughout the last 20 years if you’ve somehow completely missed a Dillinger Escape Plan show then you’ve unfortunately missed out on what I consider a band who’s never not sounded good live. They’ve ended the band on a very high note and will always be remembered for their insane live performances, their crazy stunts (performed not only by Greg Puciato, but Ben Weinman, Liam Wilson & Kevin Antreassian too), and their one of a kind energy they always brought to every show.
RIP The Dillinger Escape Plan. Thank you for 20 years of musical thunder and lighting!
Photos By Charlyn Cameron