The Dillinger and Thursday Awesome Show, Great Job!
It wasn’t surprising that The Mod Club wasn’t exactly packed to the brim for The Dillinger Escape Plan‘s co-headlining (ish) tour with Thursday. It was indeed a Monday, and for some reason – maybe a combination of odd timing (Thursday’s Common Existence has been out for awhile, and the next Dillinger album isn’t out until March), venue, and the tour itself having little publicity – people just didn’t know about it. Regardless, the bands played anyways. More importantly, they played to a group of fans that were there because they really wanted to see the bands.
The show’s first act was Los Angeles, California’s Endless Hallway, a band so wrapped up in themselves, that it was hard to even try to enjoy any bit of their poppy punk-n-roll style. Other than a decent cover of a Nine Inch Nails track, their set was pretty bland, and was overshadowed by their guitarist’s “hey I’m a rock n roll star” antics and vocalist, who sung like he thought he was Jesus himself. Confidence is cool, but this was just ridiculous.
Fake Problems were up next. As a band I had heard good things about, I was interested in seeing how they did live, and if they fit more into the tour’s sound than the first act. Actually, their sound confused me more on the exact goal of the tour, but I was presently surprised by the catchy pop-punk atmosphere they were able to create. At first they sounded a bit too much like Against Me!, but after a song, got into their own thing – a sound that included sing alongs, clapping, slide guitar, fantastic melodic leads, and a great frontman who dealt with hecklers well and wore a “Canada, Eh?” shirt. Winner.
Finally, one of the two main events: The Dillinger Escape Plan. The quintet lashed out the gate with “Good Neighbor”, a track from their upcoming full-length, Option Paralysis. Matching the rhythmic complexity of anything on Calculating Infinity (the album fans will always compare new material with), it was not only a great show opener, but a great way to build hype for their upcoming release. Afterwards, the band played two songs from Calculating Infinity (“Sugar Coated Sour”, “43% Burnt”) and Miss Machine (“Panasonic Youth”, “Sunshine the Werewolf”), along with a slew of Ire Works numbers (“Fix Your Face”, “Lurch”, “Milk Lizard”, “Horse Hunter”) and the Irony is a Dead Scene favourite “When Good Dogs Do Bad Things”. The band also played another new track, “Farewell, Mona Lisa”, to complete a setlist dominated almost entirely by techy favourites, instead of the poppier numbers that have shown up on recent works. My only question: how does Ben Weinman move like that, not look at his guitar, and play the stuff that he does? It is mindblowing. New addition Billy Rymer hit the skins better than anyone I have seen in awhile. Major props. The band left to a crowd tired and completely satisfied.
Interestingly, it seemed like a good portion of the crowd came for both headliners, but who was at the front rotated drastically for Thursday. With Geoff Rickly at the helm, the band breezed through a ton of tracks from their entire discography (with a bunch from fan favourite War All the Time), barely touching A City By the Light Divided. “For the Workforce, Drowning”, “Paris in Flames” and “Division St.” elicited big crowd responses, but the rest of their setlist had almost everyone singing along as well. Other tracks included: “Between Rupture and Rapture”, “The Other Side of the Crash”, “Understanding in a Car Crash”, “Beyond the Visible Spectrum”, “Signals Over the Air”, “Friends in the Armed Forces” (accompanied by a mini rant by Rickly), “Resuscitation of a Dead Man”, among others. The band encored with early heavy number “Jet Black New Year”, which got everyone moshing and singing along. Fantastic performance by a band that I always liked, but never loved. This show may have changed that.
Despite the first opener, this show was a definite winner. Brilliant performances by both headliners, with a surprising show by up-and-comers Fake Problems made for one great show. It is a shame that hardly anyone knew about it, but fortunately, the bands played just as hard for the smaller crowd.