The Dillinger Escape Plan Olympic Community Hall, October 22, Halifax NS
Published Oct 23, 2015With the static crackle of a distorted spoken-word sample, New Jersey's Dillinger Escape Plan emerged from the wings of the Olympic Community Hall stage and immediately turned everything to maximum.
Well, almost: some technical issues meant that bassist Liam Wilson was inaudible at first, but the rest of the five-piece genre-busting hardcore band pushed aggressively onwards while the problem was quickly solved. Frankly, the sound didn't even suffer all that much, thanks to the Escape Plan's massive guitar tone, the product of Ben Weinman (the only member to have been with the band since its inception in 1997) and recent addition Kevin Antreassian.
The show was carried by the Escape Plan's mad, unstoppable energy, whether it was Weinman spinning his guitar around on his arm in circles or vocalist Greg Puciato bounding about the stage and often over top of the crowd. It was a set dominated by sweat, screaming and shadow: the stage boasted an incredible lighting display, with bright flashes puncturing darkness in time with the music; from the floor, much of the performance appeared almost in silhouette. It was an ideal match for the band's intensity.
Whether it was newer songs like "Hero of the Soviet Union" and the title track from 2013's One of Us is the Killer or older material like 2004's "Panasonic Youth," that intensity rarely wavered, all the way through to the set-closing "We Are the Storm." At various points during the show, Puciato and Weinman climbed on top of the giant speakers on either side of the stage. For "Storm," Puciato fulfilled the inevitable promise that gesture suggests: tossing his microphone, jumping the 15 feet or so into eager arms, and getting carried to the show's finish line.