That’s it. Game over. All other bands can pack up, go home, get a job in an office somewhere typing and filing. The Dillinger Escape Plan exploded onto the stage at Damnation Festival like the end of fucking days.
We’re not exaggerating – this was heads, shoulders, and skyscrapers above everything else not only at Damnation, but almost every live show we’ve seen all year. We’ve caught The Dillinger Escape Plan playing live at damn near every time they’ve ever set foot on British soil, and tonight still stood out as something special. The only moment Dillinger allow the audience to even pause for breath comes during the three predatory, anticipatory chords that pre-empt their opening number, ‘Farewell, Mona Lisa’. Those deeper subtleties that Dillinger are able to display on record are replaced with a ferociousness in their delivery that is almost frightening to witness, were it not so….well natured.
The Dillinger Escape Plan @ Damnation Festival - 06 November 2010 by Gary Wolstenholme
Greg Puciato might be “the frontman” of The Dillinger Escape Plan, but not only does that term feel like a woefully inadequate epithet given Puciato’s overwhelming stage presence, but it also sells short the contributions guitarists Ben Weinman and Jeff Tuttle in making Dillinger possibly the single best live band on the planet. Weinstein seems to spend half the set gig fighting a personal war with his guitar, wrestling with it as if it were some six-stringed anaconda out to crush his ribs. The other half he spends demonstrates even less restraint, hurling himself off of amp stands, balconies, and any structure he can find that will support his weight. Tuttle may be less airborne in his reaction to the firestorm his band are whipping up onstage, but when he mounts the monitors his contorted facial expressions goad the audience into bigger and wilder displays of appreciation. When Puciato invites Loïc Rossetti, frontman of The Ocean onstage to add his vocals to ‘Sunshine the Werewolf’, his apprehension to step into the warzone that the Jagermeister stage has become verges on palpable.
Watch The Dillinger Escape Plan play ‘Sunshine the Werewolf’ live @ Damnation Festival 2010:
Despite the chaos both on and off-stage, we find ourselves unable to move, unable to take our eyes from the spectacle until the house lights have gone up, and someone is loudly blaring over the PA that Damnation Festival is over for another year. For a band that makes music as brutish as it is layered, DEP didn’t half root us to the spot. The Dillinger Escape Pan don’t fight their audience, they don’t fight themselves – it is the release of music so potent from within themselves that propels them almost spasmodically across the stage. Every time, every time we get to see this band, we come away with another contender for our favourite gig of the year. Mag-fucking-nificent.
The Dillinger Escape Plan @ Damnation Festival 2010 setlist:
Farewell, Mona Lisa
Fix Your Face
Room Full of Eyes
Sugar Coated Sour
Gold Teeth On A Bum
Sunshine the Werewolf