The Dillinger Escape Plan Jägermeister Stage, Montebello QC, June 19

The Dillinger Escape Plan Jägermeister Stage, Montebello QC, June 19
Photo: Rick Clifford
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It's important to make light of a dark situation, and the Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist (and co-founder) Ben Weinman did just that as the sun beat down on the Jägermeister stage at Amnesia Rockfest. After announcing the unfortunate news that vocalist Greg Puciato got stuck at the border, Weinman quipped, "We're animals as leaders," in reference to Washington, D.C. metal band, before kicking off with the frenetic "Prancer."
 
While the lack of a singer would be a sure loss for most bands, Dillinger turned it into a win. By not featuring Puciato's impressive vocal range, the spotlight shone instead on the stylistic breadth of the extremely technical metallic hardcore.
 
Weinman took on the role of de facto frontman, occasionally screaming a line or singing a chorus. He threw his axe around like an aggressive lumberjack, while jumping and spinning (often at the same time) around stage as his bandmates thrashed around.
 
The jokes continued, too, with Weinman re-dubbing "Farewell, Mona Lisa" as "Farewell, Lead Singer" and later demanding a mosh pit before admitting that he had no idea how to be a lead singer, and asking how to activate the crowd. After receiving visual cues, the guitarist spun his finger to indicate he wanted a circle pit. It was the perfect representation of how the band had the crowd wrapped around their fingers, singer or not.
 
They played "Highway Robbery" for the first time ever in Canada then followed it up with "Baby's First Coffin." Toward the end of the set, apparently missing the presence of a frontman on stage, Weinman handed his guitar off to a tech to play along while he climbed into the crowd and led a sing-along.