Ever since the decline of Arcane in ’97, The Dillinger Escape Plan have been known for their legendary live shows, leaving a trail of destroyed equipment in their wake. Last night was no exception. Out supporting the soon-to-be-released Option Paralysis, DEP truly revisited their mathcore roots at the Grog. Their only surviving original member, lead guitarist Ben Weinman, threw out hit after hit.
DEP plowed through “Fix Your Face” and “When Acting As a Particle,” and even pulled out “When Good Dogs Do Bad Things” to satisfy the more nostalgic among the crwod. The genius of DEP’s live shows is their unbridled intensity which tends to compensate for any shortcomings of the music or the venue. Lead singer Greg Puciato truly let loose on “Milk Lizard,” working the pit into a frenzy.
Bandmates Jeff Tuttle (guitars) and Liam Wilson (bass) helped support their third drummer in as many years, Billy Rymer, who has learned the ropes very fast. He still has a long way to go, but his playing was technically on par with his predecessors. Songs from the upcoming disc were eagerly welcomed by the 300-strong crowd during their 85-minute set that showcased their new talent.
After a string of disappointing biennial releases, opener Darkest Hour was out supporting last year’s The Eternal Return — an album surprisingly as good as So Sedated, So Secure. The truly wicked "The Tides" showed off the new technicality that the band has honed. They also threw in “No God” and “Demons” for the Guitar Hero enthusiasts. Mike “Lonestar” Carrigan’s crazy guitar riffs helped make this set one to behold.
Iwrestledabearonce, an avant-garde fivesome out of Louisiana, showed they have a few, if not many, chops as a upcoming metal band. Singer Krysta Cameron directed the group into a solid set from their 2009 release It’s All Happening, belting out the ever-eloquent “Tastes Like Kevin Bacon’s Penis.” Although decent, their almost random melody swings and non-metal interludes of country and boogie rhythms created a sense of unnecessary musical whiplash.
Starting opener Animals as Leaders, touring on last year’s eponymous release, are a band for acquired tastes. It’s very hard to start off a metal show with instrumental jazz-metal, but guitarist Tosin Abasi tried as hard as he could to dazzle the crowd with his eight-string technique, and ended the set with the very pleasant “On Impulse” and “CAFO.” — Gerard Nielsen