Prior internet research of Psychic Limb turned up little beyond a minute-long YouTube video of the band playing the Cake Shop. They seemed sarcastic, but I couldn't be entirely sure ("This is an Integrity cover. It's about being straight-edge. I wanna see a circle pit." ::band goes into song that doesn't seem to be by Integrity::). What was clear was that they played speedy, heavy, '80s-ish hardcore. Live, they definitely carried that sense of vague sarcasm, but also had more of a powerviolence-y speed to their songs that drove their not-even-15-minute set. I enjoyed their Chain of Strength ripoff shirt they were selling, and announcement that, "There was a mistake. This show was supposed to be $10, but billed as $20. Go back to the box office and make sure you get $10 back." The intentional feedback from the singer jamming the mic to the monitors, less so. But it was cool to see more of a traditional hardcore act playing alongside Dillinger for a change.
The Psychic Paramount's set was double the Limb's length, and their songs probably six times as long (on average?). The power trio played a loud and steadily rhythmic brand of post-metal/instrumetal type stuff—long dirges that had their moments, but could occasionally feel a little repetitive. That could probably describe that pool of bands well as a whole, sure, but tPP definitely had a subtly nuanced quality to their sound that made it relatively interesting.
The Dillinger Escape Plan came on almost ten minutes late, but the crowd seemed to forgive them quickly. This was a special one-off show for them, playing a somewhat smaller venue for them (with no barricade!!) as they support Deftones' current headlining venture (the two shows at Best Buy Theater last week sold out). And they seemed ecstatic to be here.
The band opened by ripping into the epic, nearly exhausting lead single from last year's Option Paralysis, "Farewell, Mona Lisa", with strobe lights flashing and guitars wailing away. It was, quite simply, an overwhelming sensory overload. And then? "The Mullet Burden". While I was initially disappointed about the lack of Miss Machine cuts in this set list (just two, both of which are nightly staples anyway), I have to admit that the band dug pretty deep for a crowd that was probably a little more feverish for them than Deftones'. Besides 1998's Under the Running Board, 2002's Irony Is a Dead Scene and, of course, 1999's Calculating Infinity all had representatives (CI with three!).
From there, it was signature Dillinger: a predictably unpredictable and raucous set with stage dives left and right (plus loose, sporadic mosh) and dudes of all shapes and sizes embracing Greg Puciato like a brother. Puciato was always amicable and surprisingly patient, letting hangers-on yell several lines alongside him into the mic before letting them finally jump off the stage on their own. He just seemed delighted throughout the set, telling us he loved every single person in the room by the end of the set. He even slipped in a "Circle pit!" crack during the balladic, piano-ushered intro to "Widower".
Founding guitarist Ben Weinman attracted some attention to himself, of course, scaling a stage right, six-or-so-foot-high rail down to the middle of the floor during "Room Full of Eyes", nearly slipping off and leaning on a rectangular column for support.
When it came time for "Sunshine the Werewolf", Puciato essentially demanded that everyone join him on stage, or he'd come down there. They obliged. The band was then hidden behind a flood of audience members shouting and screaming along with every anthemic passage of the song. Puciato ensured everyone was off the stage midway through "43% Burnt".
A noisy interlude followed, and the band returned—several members shirtless—encoring with the manic "Fix Your Face" and a surprise "Destro's Secret". Puciato adamantly thanked us one last time, but not before relocating drummer Billy Rymer's bass drum and snare. Another hour-plus session of the band's experimental and chaotic metal/hardcore was done, played as a sonic assault with accompanying visual dizziness.
Set list (10:24-11:26):
- 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
- Good Neighbor
- Sunshine the Werewolf
- 43% Burnt
- Fix Your Face
- Destro's Secret