AFI / Dillinger Escape Plan - live in New York (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

AFI / Dillinger Escape Plan

live in New York (2006)

live show

I was probably one of very few looking forward to all 3 bands on a bill featuring goth neo-gods AFI with the Dillinger Escape Plan and Nightmare of You. I guess they could all be considered "dark" bands on one plane or another, but the diversity is plain and clear.

Nightmare of You, of course, played first. I could see a few mouthing the words, but most of the crowd was just not digging it. To steal a line from one of NOY's counterparts, "[they] always criticize the Smiths...and Morrissey" (insert user response of "or they just shittily ape them!"). Front-man Brandon Reilly was providing quite the fodder for heckling with his frequent -- and seemingly exaggerated -- Holly hiccups, as well as that pterodactyl screech he lets slip in some of the band's songs, but damn if NOY wasn't playing rather tight and sounded big through Roseland Ballroom's stadium-like sound-producing capabilites. They were mostly faithful to the studio versions, but unexpectedly hearing one of those mid-song sessions of noisy toying with the effects pedals in "In the Bathroom Is Where I Want You" was a nice surprise; they sure seemed to invade the band's songwriting shortly after completion and release of NOY's first demos in early 2004, but only ended up in 1 or 2 on the full-length. Hearing my favorite of theirs ("Dear Scene...") since it was posted as a shitty Real Audio stream of it a year and a half ago was also pleasantly received; though, I'm not a fan of how "My Name Is Trouble" was 'dance-ified' on the album, and the pre-recorded keyboards here were similarly annoying. Very solid set regardless, though that was expected. Set list in order:

  • I Want to Be Buried in Your Backyard
  • The Days Go By Oh So Slow
  • In the Bathroom Is Where I Want You
  • Dear Scene, I Wish I Were Deaf
  • My Name Is Trouble
  • Why Am I Always Right?
The real highlight, the real treat however, was the Dillinger Escape Plan. Some dark, haunting music set the atmosphere as the band walked onto a stage backdropped by their standard Miss Machine banner, loud applause emanting from their small, scattered following present, and then BOOM -- they exploded into "Panasonic Youth," and surely every member of the crowd had thus made up their mind. Even in a venue as large as Roseland, the band was fantastic; I felt safe, but it was still aurally violent, drums slugging the ground and riffs sharply chopping moment after moment. The band is fully deserving of anyone who wishes to profess the cliché that the Dillinger Escape Plan is one of the most exciting, challenging bands creating music today. Highlights included Greg Puciato climbing up into the balcony and temporarily walking the ledge before "encouragement" from a security guard caused him to step down, upon completion of the song, Puciato back on the stage and simply stating "Security is pissed" while dedicating the next song to said guard, violently swinging the immensely sized speakers adorning the sides of the stage, gently tossing a piece of the drum kit at the end of the set after striking it in manic glory, and "43% Burnt"'s dragged out, panicking breakdown likely scaring many a goth there. I wish I could remember the full set, but here's most of what was played in no specific order unless mentioned:
  • Panasonic Youth [first]
  • 43% Burnt [second]
  • Sunshine the Werewolf
  • Phone Home
  • Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants
  • Sugar Coated Sour
  • When Good Dogs Do Bad Things
AFI stepped out onto the stage in grandiose fashion, but it was an entrance fully expected. Their performance was decent, but at times a little sloppy and everything seemed a bit high in the mix and therefore creating a light overbrush of static throughout the set. Davey Havok's stage presence is still one very obviously influenced by Danzig, but vocally way more intense; it seemed that in any song that required Havok's new-ish metalcore scream, he would absolutely shred his voice to pieces. Hunter and Jade seemed particularly energetic during one of the set's early offerings, "The Leaving Song Pt. II," practically sprinting from one side of the stage to the other. Only 4 of the 17 songs from the band's first 5 full-lengths were played (2 from the first 4, more specifically), and while I wasn't anticipating a wealthy amount of older material, another song or 2 from that "era" might have been nice. But rather, the majority of the set drew from 2003's Sing the Sorrow and the more recent Decemberunderground, the latter of which I find to be the band's worst since the first 2 albums -- not neccessarily bad, just horribly inconsistent. Luckily, my favorite off the album, "Kill Caustic," was played efficiently, and it was great to hear "Totalimmortal." It was sort of lame to have nearly every song's keyboards and bells and whistles overdubbed pre-recorded, but whatever -- I guess deviating from those would've sounded strange and taking the efforts to replicate them live just weren't worth it.

Havok had a little bit of trouble, but did manage his 'Jesus walk' onto the crowd's hands/heads/whatever for "God Called in Sick Today;" it wasn't as surreal as intended however, as he was stumbling quite noticeably.

If it wasn't for the support I likely wouldn't have attended this show -- hell, if it wasn't for certain circumstances I probably would have left right after Dillinger, but AFI wasn't painful to watch or anything; a mild enjoyment to let me catch my breath before the hour-thirty trek home.

Set list (in order):
  • Prelude 12/21
  • The Leaving Song Pt. II
  • Dancing Through Sunday
  • Ever and a Day
  • The Killing Lights
  • Kill Caustic
  • Summer Shudder (?)
  • Silver and Cold
  • Love Like Winter
  • A Single Second
  • The Leaving Song Pt. I (?)
  • Miss Murder
  • Days of the Phoenix
  • Girl's Not Grey
  • Totalimmortal
  • Death of Seasons
  • God Called in Sick [encore]