Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Live Review - Dillinger Escape Plan @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Dillinger Escape Plan Live at Music Hall of Williamsburg 5/15/11
By The Rock(jock)*

Hey all you Yuppies, ROCK(jock) here. My friends tell me I'm subject to overblown hyperbole every once and a while (all the time). While I try to be as objective as possible when posting reviews here, sometimes my intense love for a band just won't allow it. That's why, instead of telling you what I thought about Dillinger Escape Plan's show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, I will do something a little different and simply list a series of events that took place. In the end, YOU decide how the evening went.

Williamsburg -- I want to move here. It's still the city (there's a beautiful view of Manhattan in the distance) and it has no shortage of things to do (unmarked dive bars that turn into unexpectedly classy establishments once inside with very fair prices, obscure beer selections, and better food than anything in Queens) and yet it feels like another world. Despite it being very old, it's infinitely cleaner than the other boroughs and eerily quiet. Add in the waterfront and laid back air, it feels like you're on vacation.

The Music Hall -- The intimacy of the Webster Hall basement, slightly smaller than Irving, and the decor of Bowery Ballroom. A beautiful balcony with plenty of seating (including stadium risers), three bars, decent sound, ample cooling fans to keep it from becoming a sauna, and most importantly...NO BARRICADES. (This is called foreshadowing).

The crowd -- I recently started asking myself the question, "Am I too old for this shit?" after a series of shows that made me feel like a cranky old man but the audience of mostly twentysomethings at the Music Hall renewed my faith in New York's concertgoers. The show wasn't sold out, so everyone had their own personal space--more casual fans could chill in the balcony or side risers, rabid fans could enjoy the show up close without getting sucked into the pit, and the moshers had lots of room to put on their own show. Even better, it was the type of pit where people just wanted to go a little nuts and have fun rather than the increasingly common gathering of steroidal muscleheads looking to prove how tough they are.

The chaos -- Honestly, when your fellow concertgoers are as awesome as Sunday's group, watching this spectacle is one of the best things about seeing Dillinger live. Chaos has a beauty and it's manifested at these shows. Case in point (here comes that foreshadowed stuff): the mosh pit...ON THE STAGE. Shows with no barricades and no security always make for a better time. Why? Because by and large, metalheads are a smart and responsible tight-knit group that looks out for one another. When big brother is watching, people take that as a license to not worry about those around them. But when left to police ourselves, I have yet to see anyone get hurt or things get out of hand. Not to mention it gives bands like Dillinger, who breed violence and feed off the energy of their fans more than most bands, a chance to interact directly with the crowd and take things to the next level. Like join the pit on the floor. Sure, some lead singers will journey into the audience once in a while but how often do you see the entire band, save the drummer, spread out across the entire venue? Hell, at one point I turned around to see Jeff Tuttle on the raised floor behind me (which, if you're familiar with the layout of the Music Hall, it's mind-boggling as to how he got there). And I haven't even mentioned the ubiquitous crowd-surfing and stage-diving, which came to a head during "Sunshine the Werewolf" when half the venue (including yours truly) bum rushed the stage and attacked Puciato, who performed the last two songs under an avalanche of raucous fans. The tech guys had to come out and form a human wall around the drums to keep the on-stage pit from moshing itself into the equipment. Even better, the whole thing turned into a game of King of the Mountain as we all tried to push each other off while maintaining our own position. Recess finally came to end when Puciato launched into "43% Burnt" and everyone on stage simultaneously jumped off. It was a sight to behold with bodies flying every which way as the crowd pig piled onto the venue floor.

The set list (courtesy of --
Farewell, Mona Lisa
The Mullet Burden
Panasonic Youth
Milk Lizard
Chinese Whispers
Room Full of Eyes
Sugar Coated Sour
Gold Teeth On A Bum
Black Bubblegum
When Good Dogs Do Bad Things (Faith No More Cover)
Good Neighbor
Sunshine the Werewolf
43% Burnt
Fix Your Face
Destro's Secret

Again, don't take my word for it. But if you don't trust me, maybe you'll listen to the all-mighty Greg Puciato himself. Upon leaving the stage following the main set, Puciato yelled into the mic, "I fucking love every single one of you after tonight" before proceeding to drop the mic and walk off. Then, at the end of the pandemonium that became the encore, while shirtless, sweat-drenched, and still fighting-off fans while simultaneously shaking hands with everyone he could reach, Puciato could be seen mouthing the words "Greatest fucking show of all time" over and over. Whether it was or not is up to you but there's no disputing we all had a blast that night.

*The Rock(jock)is Kyle Andrukiewicz, he is a contributing writer to Officially A Yuppie. He has covered Volbeat and Glassjaw for the site and continues to be our loud rock guru.