Muscle and Music: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Live @ Max Watts, Sydney – 29th August 2015

Ijameslondon_Matt_Hopkins_solidcolorn an age of endless mediocrity, there are few bands that are as entertaining to watch as The Dillinger Escape Plan. Having experienced their live onslaught twice before, saying that I was excited to see them again would be a huge understatement.

Unfortunately, due to my tremendous lack of time management skills, we missed seeing the support act Gay Paris, but they are a fantastic band and you should definitely check them out! Arriving about ten minutes before Dillinger were set to hit the stage, we positioned ourselves in a comfortable middle pocket and waited patiently.

Generally, there are three things that are guaranteed when watching this band do their thing; Guitarist Ben Weinman will climb on and jump off anything, Vocalist Greg Puciato will look to be made of nothing but giant muscles and you’ll spend most of the show wondering how they pull off the ridiculous timing in their songs whilst running around like excited animals.

Photo courtesy of Revolvermag.
Photo courtesy of Revolvermag.

The band emerged from behind the curtain to kick things off with ‘Prancer’, channelling the enthusiasm of a cat that’s just been let outside for the first time. Next up was the 2007 single ‘Milk Lizard’, sung with maximum audience participation. ‘Happiness is a Smile’ led into ‘One of Us is the Killer’, slowing things down just a little bit before the crushing ‘We are the Storm’. Set highlights ‘Panasonic Youth’ and ‘43% Burnt’ were played back to back in pummelling fashion whilst Weinman managed to climb on top of an amp stack without missing a beat.

Introducing the last song of show as “this is Sunshine…of Your Love”, they played the first part of the song which then, of course, turned into ‘Sunshine the Werewolf’. A successful trolling of the audience did not go unappreciated.

Returning for an encore, they played ‘Farewell, Mona Lisa’ and ‘When I Lost My Bet’ to round off a well-balanced and diverse performance. Weinman climbed a bunch of stuff, including the crowd, Puciato made me want to go directly to the gym and I still have no idea how they play those songs live – the Dillinger experience guarantee!

To this day I am yet to find another band that can match Dillinger’s live energy without the use of any sort of gimmick which to me, is something that every band should strive for. For those who don’t believe me, here’s a video from 2012’s Soundwave festival featuring a trestle table surfboard.