It’s not every day you get to see a band vital to the evolution of metal perform their last UK show, or any last show as a matter of fact. This is my first and it is with math rock overlords The Dillinger Escape Plan.
Having formed twenty years ago, the stakes are high. People will be expecting the best of their career rolled into one set. The music, the energy and the attitude has to be on point tonight because these are the kind of fans that will take zero shit and quite frankly I’m terrified, I feel my life is on the line if they don’t bring it tonight. What’s really interesting is that they choose to end it here in Brighton, my only conclusion is that it is home to the scene that bore their heirs and biggest fans; Architects, who openly express their love for this abnormal band. My neck is craned for any big metal characters tonight because this is a big event.
Opening tonight is fledgling post-hardcore band Primitive Weapons. They begin the evening with traditional but nonetheless skull-fucking insanity. What I note about them is their stark opposition in songwriting to the main act – they have proper structure to their songs with little “extras” that always add so much to any verse-chorus songs e.g. breakdowns, instrumental breaks etc. They also have a strong traditional image to them, slaving over their instruments and leering over the edge of the stage right into our faces conveying a strong perception. That is with the exception of guitarist and backing vocalist Arthur Shepherd’s Yes shirt which does not go unnoticed!
Speaking of whom, Arthur and David Costello (vocalist) both, are a stark reminder that voices like that do actually exist outside of a record. It seems that so many bands can’t bring the same visceral vocals to the live show as they do to a recording but Primitive Weapons bring us back to reality on that one. A traditional but enjoyable metal set, but buckle up, it’s about to get freaky!
Ho99o9 (pronounced “Horror” for anyone unfamiliar with their work) take to the stage as the second support act tonight. These guys are making a name for themselves in their little niche genre blending industrial music, rap and metal. Being name checked by Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan in our interview prior to the gig as having “Dillinger’s Seal of Approval” for craziness and apparently being one of Kirk Hammett’s favourite new bands, they have got it going on.
With flowery thoughts of Metallica still in my mind, they take their position on the stage and control it instantly. With a remarkable punk quality about them, they take the energy up a notch and the madness up a few to give way to Dillinger. They prove divisive to the crowd tonight with backing music and rapping appealing to a certain type of fan, as well as dividing our own crew at Moshville. To me though, I’m super excited to have seen something so unique and energetic in a world where a lot of things feel “samey”. They have an irresistible live charm about them and I sway pit-wards.
The showmanship here is also on point and they make use of their drummer who is certainly the best drummer I have ever seen and heard in the flesh. As a drummer myself it is so inspiring and I feel he largely connects with the more traditional fans in playing a very straightforward thrashy groove. Vocalists theOGM and Eaddy however do not give a flying fig to the thoughts of others, nor apparently their appearance. Stage diving continually I get Eaddy’s sweaty feet right in my face – having said that, though, that is perhaps the only downside to this otherwise very peculiar but entirely refreshing, punk performance.
Now it is the time that everyone’s been waiting for; The Last Hurrah. Walking on stage to ear destroying booms, blinding strobes and a screaming audience, it’s The Dillinger Escape Plan who are out to prove once again they can personify the undying spirit of alternative culture. Personally, I’m dying to see their modern classics “One Of Us Is The Killer”, “Symptom Of Terminal Illness” and “Limerent Death” and they bring them… and they truly blended them well with their setlist tonight that spans their success of a career. That is often an overused sentiment in reviews especially but I don’t feel it has ever been truer to me than that set.
The audience were as ready to kill as the band and ravenously clawed at each other, devouring every sonic morsel. Despite not being very accessible music, it just shows the strength of it that it should have such an incredible effect on the audience and the grand tapestry of Mother Metal, not forgetting to mention the best moshing I’ve ever been a part of in my life.
The songs are rolled out one by one to a terrific reception in this triumph of mind over matter and revelry of six great albums. “43% Burnt” ends the set and concludes their reign in the UK, and what a way to do it.
After the performance, singer Greg Puciato takes one last dive into the arms of their friends whilst guitarist Ben Weinman waves goodbye in his ordinary manner but he stops as he’s leaving to take one last heartfelt look. It doesn’t seem many people take notice as they’re avoiding Greg’s feet but I do and it’s really heartbreaking. Their youthful, defiant flailing has become as iconic as Dio’s horns or Angus’ duckwalk and to witness it in the flesh by its originators is a privilege.
A band like this come once in a blue moon so go and whack on Dissociation right now and relive your best memories of this band, because this is it… unless you’re reading this from Europe in which case check the dates below! If you’re British and/or skint then put on a brave face. What a way to go out.
All photos by Sean Larkin Photography
Their latest release Dissociation is out now.
Final European shows
- January 30th: Hamburg Markthalle, Germany
- January 31st: Odense Muiskhuset Posten, Denmark
- February 1st: Arhus Voxhall, Denmark
- February 2nd: Oslo Rockefeller, Norway
- February 4th: Helsinki Tavastia, Finland
- February 5th: Tampere Klubi, Finland
- February 7th: Stockholm Debaser Strand, Sweden
- February 8th: Gothenburg Pustervik, Sweden
- February 9th: Copenhagen Pumpehuset, Denmark
- February 10th: Berlin Columbia Theatre, Germany
- February 11th: Warsaw Stodola, Poland
- February 12th: Krakrow Kwadrat, Poland
- February 14th: Leipzig Conne Island, Germany
- February 15th: Prague Rock Cafe, Czech Republic
- February 16th: Vienna Szene, Austria
- February 17th: Budapest A38, Hungary
- February 18th: Zagreb Culture Factory, Croatia
- February 20th: Munich Backstage Halle, Germany
- February 21st: Lausanne Les Docks, Switzerland
- February 22nd: Turin Hiroshima Mon Amour, Italy
- February 23rd: Bologna Zona Roveri, Italy
- February 24th: Lyon L’Epicerie Moderne, France
- February 25th: Barcelona Apolo, Spain
- February 26th: Madrid Barcelo, Spain
- February 28th: Toulouse Le Bikini, France
- March 1st: Paris Le Trabendo, France
- March 2nd: Strasbourg La Laiterie, France
- March 3rd: Wiesbaden Schlachthof, France
- March 4th: Cologne Gloria, Germany
- March 5th: Brussels AB Ballroom, Belgium