Dillinger Escape Plan / A Life Once Lost

Dillinger Escape Plan / A Life Once Lost: live in New Yorklive in New York (2007)
Relapse Records

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

When the Dillinger Escape Plan delayed their fall tour (thus making it a combination autumn-winter tour), more than the circumstances of time and weather would be different. Stolen Babies were the originally scheduled opener on the tour, so I checked them out on their MySpace beforehand and were hor.

When the Dillinger Escape Plan delayed their fall tour (thus making it a combination autumn-winter tour), more than the circumstances of time and weather would be different. Stolen Babies were the originally scheduled opener on the tour, so I checked them out on their MySpace beforehand and were horrified. Then I double-checked the show info and it seemed like they dropped off. So I get to the venue with a friend later on, doors open and we're immediately directed to the merch/bar area so soundcheck can finish, and I see that SHAT is selling merch. SHAT. No fucking way.

Way. SHAT played. First, obviously. The brainchild of frontman Jeff Wood (former Dillinger bassist, as he let the crowd know), the mostly naked band marched through the floor as an introduction -- three-fourths of them decked out in shit and piss-stained underwear and creepy Kabuki(-esque) masks. Wood himself wore his traditional garb: a thong and attached strap-on exposing his testicles for all to see, helmet, knee pads and boots, with 25 dildos in all on his body, including a Barbie doll strapped to a dildo crucifix. Wood did an admirable job using the in-between-song banter to link his perverted tunes from one to the other, which included such smash hits as "I Threw Up on Her Cunt," "Tit Fuck," "Fuck, I Stepped in Shit," "The Crabs" and "Cherry Pop." Much like the band's albums, imaginably, it was admittedly pretty hilarious at first and began to wear thin as the set wore on. I'll probably never get to see Anal Cunt though (irony noted), and whether that's a good or bad thing, this was an acceptable substitution.

Genghis Tron came on shortly thereafter, and doubting they would use Dillinger's drumkit, it seemed like the band unexpectedly consisted of only 3 members: two of them shared three keyboards; the other was a lone guitarist. No drummer? No bassist? Well, no second guitarist, certainly. Everyone seemed to contribute some vocal duties, with one keyboardist handling the leads. I'd liked what I'd heard from Genghis Tron anytime I'd checked out their MySpace in recent months, but their live show let me down. While the blasts of grind, tech moments, drum machine guzzling and trip-hop elements made for a fairly dynamic, intricate sound, their pre-programmed base seemed like quite a crutch. Not having more members honestly eliminated much of the potential entertainment for me. My friend, a Tron fan himself, said he fully approved of the set, but I was mostly disappointed despite the band failing to miss a note. Their 31-minute set included "Arms," among others.

A Life Once Lost were sort of the opposite: a band okay if not totally forgettable on record, but energetic, explosive and enthralling in person. Granted, they were already in my good books for selling nearly their entire catalog at $7 apiece (their new album even being 6) at their merch table, but their twisting, gnarled shards of Meshuggah-nodding metalcore sure didn't detract from my opinion. The singer stormed the entire length of the stage repeated times, sometimes raging so hard it seemed like he was stumbling over his own feet. Their shredding guitarists often perched on those boxed lights to let the crowd better grab a glimpse of said shred. Crammed into the band's 44-minute set, among others, were "The Wanderer," "Firewater Joyride," "Rehashed," "Ill Will" and closer "Vulture," in which the singer came to the barricade and leaned into the crowd for some fierce sing-alongs, just about the first major instance of crowd interaction that night.

Having ALOL get me plenty hyped for Dillinger, the bastard headliners threw the same exact damn intro they used on their fall 2005 tour up on the projection screen (you know, "Are you asleep? Good."). And once again, they didn't take the advantage of what would be an intense transition from the countdown right to the opening howl of "Panasonic Youth." Oh well -- besides that and the disclusion of a few songs I'd like to have heard from Miss Machine, my points of contention towards the band's set were nil. They did take breaks between every song for a bit, but they were brief ones. The band exemplified quality over quantity for their all-too-quick, pulverizing 53-minute set. From the start they were their usual selves: "Panasonic Youth" acted as the ultimate opener; Ben Weinman constantly thrashed about wildly, often stepping onto the barricade and falling into members of the front row; Greg Puciato would do the same, while he scaled the height of a stage right ladder during "Sugar Coated Sour," often looking like he was going to take the thirty-foot (or so) plunge to the crowd below (he merely jumped five to ten feet back down onto the stage). However, there were a few more-than-pleasant surprises -- original vocalist Dimitri Minakakis was present, and came out to do his part on "Fix Your Face," which also featured a hyperactive, bizarre character in a skeleton suit, who ripped it off to reveal his Borat thong swimsuit (same color, too). It was a strange but incredibly cool sight to see Puciato and Minakakis screaming alongside each other; it was almost like Henry Rollins jumping on stage with one of the Flag's followers. ...Well, not quite I guess, but Dimitri did bear a striking resemblance to HR. For the intro of "Good Dogs," Puciato let a crowd member scream the intro, which the fellow nailed well -- granted, he totally fucked throwing the mic back to Puciato, which landed between the stage and barricade with an embarrassing *thud.* "Sunshine the Werewolf" provided one of the most serious closers to a set I've seen in a long time -- as the breakdown started, Puciato disappeared off stage for a split second and returned with a lit torch. Yep, they've brought back the fire-breathing -- at least here in NYC. Puciato began filling his mouth with some sort of liquid (the bottle didn't look like an alcohol-containing one, though) and used it to ignite the flame, doing it numerous times. The floor security guards looked a bit frightened. For the final blow (pun actually not originally intended, but hey, it works), he handed it to an audience member, who held it for Puciato as the singer blew into the flame, which extended out inches over the heads of a dozen or so people. Shit was intense.

Again, three words can sum up Dillinger easy: quality over quantity. Ire Works may have slightly disappointed fans (including myself), but the songs still rip live for the most part and provide those massive crowd sing-alongs all the same (when the ones including such are played). Here's to hoping they're still this wild when they do their various support tours in 2008.

Set list (9:58-10:51):

  1. Panasonic Youth
  2. -----
  3. 43% Burnt
  4. -----
  5. Fix Your Face [f/ Dimitri Minakakis]
  6. -----
  7. Lurch
  8. -----
  9. Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants
  10. -----
  11. Baby's First Coffin
  12. -----
  13. The Mullet Burden
  14. When Acting as a Particle [minus the studio version's first :38 or so]
  15. Nong Eye Gong
  16. electro-interlude
  17. Milk Lizard
  18. -----
  19. Destro's Secret
  20. -----
  21. When Good Dogs Do Bad Things
  22. -----
  23. Sugar Coated Sour
  24. -----
  25. Party Smasher [most likely]
  26. -----
  27. Sunshine the Werewolf


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
steveman (December 18, 2007)

I saw them in Chicago and it was insane. Small venue. Small stage. No fence or security.

Greg came running out across the top of the crowd at one point.

I had a mic thrust into my face at least 4 or 5 different times and I think I held up nearly every member of the band, aside from the drummer, ontop of the crowd at one point.

Greg finished the set in the middle of the pit after diving off the stage for the 20th time or something. Very awesome. I should write a review of the whole show.

damnitsderek (December 18, 2007)

I would have been really disappointed to not hear "Highway Robbery".

maverick (December 18, 2007)

Damn, no firebreathing in Cleveland. Lucky!


thus_spoke_sean (December 18, 2007)

you write six a week? god damn. I'm trying to get in a habit of writing two a week. I just can't do it at work, i feel like whatever i write at work just ends up sucking (i.e. that Red Chord review that never got posted, most likely with good reason).

inagreendase (December 18, 2007)

Thanks, I'll add. You shoulda mentioned you were writing one, I would've laid off. I already write like 6 a week just to catch up on a personal queue.

thus_spoke_sean (December 18, 2007)

oh, and im prettttty sure number 15 was "Party Smasher"

fuck, ok, seriously im done.

thus_spoke_sean (December 18, 2007)

and finally, i thought it of note, that i was little skeptical of the new guitarist, i mean he wasnt even on the album how would he do?

He is EXACTLY what dillinger needed, the guy didnt miss a note and had arguabely the best stage presence out of the whole band. at first i thought ben's comments about "Dillinger being more than it's members, its become something bigger" was a little pretentious, but after seeing that preformance, i was totally sold. this show fucking ripped.

thus_spoke_sean (December 18, 2007)

the ninth song was nong eye gong, it comes right out of "when acting" just like the album.

I perosnally loved the shit out of genghis tron and though they put on an incredible live show. they didnt miss a note, you are right about that which i think speaks to what they were doing. obviously they had some prerecorded material, but can you imagine being that guitarist? if you mess up even a little, there is no drummer to look to and communicate with, that beat is gonig on wethere you like it or not. and he was playing some complicated shit.

I also thought that ALOL did do a better job live than on record, but that didn't stop me from becoming incrediblly bored after the first couple songs.

thus_spoke_sean (December 18, 2007)

damn, ive been working on a review for this show, well let's see what you thought....

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