Gig/Concert: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Periphery, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
Venue: Billboard (“The Venue”), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Date: 19 May 2010
Headliners: The Dillinger Escape Plan
In One Word: Ballcrushing
What is it with Melbourne town and early show starts on a week-night? Do the schools open super-early here or something?! I was hoping to catch the entirety of Periphery’s show, but alas, by the time I rocked up at the late, late hour of just after 9pm they were only a few songs away from the close of their set! This, for an international band that shows so much promise…no wonder we cop so much crap in the media, if this is how we welcome such esteemed foreign visitors to our shores! What I did catch left a strong impression, however: Guitarist Alex did warn me in an interview not long back that they weren’t known to put on shows QUITE as intense as tonight’s headliners, but they still kicked some pretty mighty ass in my book. One band that lacks neither stage presence nor technical chops, and definitely a band to keep both eyes on.
Next band on were Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, who I have to confess I hadn’t yet heard of. They make for an interesting choice of “in-between” band, though, having not that much in common musically with the evening’s other two bands, though again by no means lacking in the “stage presence” department. Kind of a cross between Moistboyz and Pantera, this “Southern metal” band play things a little more “straight”, time signature-wise, than their stage-mates, and do it fucking solidly at that…my only real criticism ultimately is that by the end of the set all their songs started sounding a tad “same-ish”. But an entertaining find and unexpected surprise nonetheless.
Now onto the headliners. The audience, as is typical for a Dillinger show, are impatient and almost baying for BLOOD by the time The Dillinger Escape Plan finally take the stage…and then, the REAL bloodbath begins! Only musically-speaking of course, though we privileged few in the photographer’s pit are hastily herded out by the bouncers when they realise that Dillinger take no prisoners, and obey no boundaries set by paltry audience-barriers. I’m gonna be controversial and just come right out and say it: The Dillinger Escape Plan are possibly The Best Live Band In The World. The word “brutal” gets bandied around so much these days in the world of “metal”, but seriously…there’s no better word for the assault to one’s battered senses the second these guys take to the stage. At least until the occasional “quiet” bit crops up, or guitarist Ben moves to the stage-right keyboard to temporarily fulfil piano duties…but these are little more than (highly atmospheric; fuck it, MESMERIZING) calms before the next inevitable storm.
It’s no wonder this band goes through so many member/line-up changes: If Ben Weinman’s been doing this almost non-stop since the band’s inception in ’97 – making him hardly the YOUNGEST guy on any world-wide stage right now – the man deserves a fucking medal (and probably somewhere in his future, a free knee replacement or two)! Which isn’t to say Mr Weinman is the ONLY member of the band who gives the show his all: It is such a rare treat these days to see an ENTIRE BAND who give their performance 110%, and then some..!! If I were in the medical insurance biz, I wouldn’t be doing business with ANY of these lads, period.
Oh, and a quick mention re the setlist, since so many folk these days seem rather anal about such business. In a (seemingly successful) attempt to please pretty much the entirety of their fan-base, all four albums (and even the Mike Patton-fronted EP) are represented, with just a little favouritism obviously going to the last couple of albums. Did everyone leave the gig happy? Fuck ’em…I know I sure did! Can’t wait ’til the next tour, fellas…fancy dropping back by Australia in six months or so?
© Michael Bowser, Music Vice
Pictures of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Periphery:
Interview with Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Esape Plan, Music Vice April 2010
Album review: The Dilllinger Escape Plan – Option Paralysis
Interview with Alex Bois of Periphery, Music Vice May 2010
Periphery – Myspace
Maylene and the Sons of Disaster – Myspace
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Myspace