Live Review: The Dillinger Escape Plan w/ Ho99o9 & Primitive Weapons

Enough has been said about Dillinger Escape Plan’s decision to call it a day after this album cycle. Happy about it or not, we have to accept it and move on. Move on to celebrating one of the greatest bands of all time. Dissociation was a fantastic way to start to that process. An album that somehow managed to encapsulate everything that that band is. Now, we move onto the final tour, as Dillinger rolled into Glasgow.

Before we get to that, Primitive Weapons kicked things off to an ever growing crowd. After a bit of a shaky start, they improve as the set goes on, seeming to gain confidence with every person that comes through the door. There’s a touch of While She Sleeps in there as well as tonight’s headliners and on another night, Primitive Weapons might stand out. Sadly, on this one, they are the warm-up.

The same can not be said for H09909. There are some bemused looks when Eaddy walks out onto the stage wearing a wedding dress, and they continue when he begins to make some unholy noise into the microphone. Five minutes later those looks are long gone. H09909 aren’t just a ferocious combination of hip hop, hardcore and more but they are also an extraordinary live band. The racket the three men on stage make is loud enough that I spent part of the set looking for the rest of the band, who I was sure must be hidden somewhere in the wings. Visually they are in a league of their own. For one song they have all the lights turned off and only a head torch to show off what is going on on-stage. It takes something to stand tall when sharing a bill with Dillinger and this lot pull it off.

Yet, not even that can compare to what is to come. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it doesn’t matter who your favourite band are, they aren’t as good as The Dillinger Escape Plan. They stand up there with the likes of Converge in their ability to create a sound that is utterly indescribable. It’s part jazz, part metal and part whatever the fuck they want it to be.

They are also a better live band than your favourite. Before the first song is done, Greg Puciato has climbed the speaker stack and thrown himself into the crowd. While Ben Weinman at one point crowd surfs out into the audience, grabs some wiring which he uses to pull himself up onto the balcony and then leaps back into the bodies below all while still wielding his guitar. There is so much going on that you never quite know where to look and it all happens while they unleash this blend of melody and chaos without apparently missing a note.

What’s truly amazing, is that if you stripped all that away, this would still be incredible. If they stood stock still and stared straight ahead at a crowd of one, it would still be better than 99% of other bands. From the sing-alongs of ‘One Of Us Is The Killer’ to the disturbing melody of ‘Black Bubblegum’ to the chaos of ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’, there is nothing they can’t do.

Walking out of the venue there is an air of sadness to the whole thing. For many people, myself possibly included, this might be the last time we see Dillinger Escape Plan. The last time we get to stand in the middle of the chaos and drink it all in. Yet, there is also a sense of triumph. A sense that we are the people who got to live through this and see this unique band do their thing. If you don’t have tickets to this tour or are wavering about whether to go or not sort yourself out. I don’t care if you’ve never listened to them or are their biggest fan, The Dillinger Escape Plan are coming, and you don’t want to be the person pretending you were there in the years to come.

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