Thursday / Dillinger Escape Plan - live in Farmingdale (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Thursday / Dillinger Escape Plan

live in Farmingdale (2009)

live show

There may have been a local opener or two for this show, but I wasn't too sure. All I knew was that three bizarrely disparate bands were playing last, and I was psyched to see them all.

But when my cousin and I arrived at what's generally the go-to venue for mid-level alternative/underground touring acts on Long Island, the Crazy Donkey, Endless Hallway was preparing to go on. I'd never even heard of these guys prior to the lineup being announced, so I'd assumed they were from some local scene I had no interest in. Nope! Apparently this band is on Wind-Up. Totally weird. They played a pretty stinky blend of nuevo-emo and alternative rock I really was not feeling. Their stage presence was actually pretty all right, at least. You could tell these dudes practice enough, but they also spend quite some time on that image too: V-necks, hair swoops and anorexic body frames ran amok on that stage.

Fake Problems thankfully came up next to provide their quirky take on folky, punk-informed, melodic sort-of indie rock. When they opened for Crime in Stereo at a VFW in Deer Park last year, I remember they had a few female fans grouped together, up front and singing along. That show was in August, so maybe those girls are back at school now, because virtually no one here knew who they were. I'm pretty sure a couple kids were singing along here and there, but reaction was very mild; the band garnered polite applause at best. Even the band poked fun at themselves for knowing that their boisterous tunes were largely lost on this crowd, making reference to, well, this very review that would eventually surface (META OVERLOAD). But they didn't necessarily miss any notes or anything, and their setup is less ornate this tour, simply utilizing a standard guitar-bass-drums setup with one saxophone and, if I remember correctly, a sporadically used keyboard. It was a pretty cool set regardless of the response, or lack thereof.

Set list (7:45-8:17):

  1. 1234
  2. Sorry, OK, Sorry, OK, Sorry
  3. Born & Raised
  4. Diamond Rings
  5. Don't Worry Baby
  6. There Are Times
  7. ?
  8. How Far Our Bodies Go
  9. The Dream Team
  10. Heart BPM

Then Dillinger Escape Plan? Awesome! I expected all these old, grizzly guys from New Jersey that were at the Studio at Webster Hall show from earlier this year to start crawling out of the woodwork; y'know -- stodgy, short dudes who were actually around in the '90s to see Deadguy and Botch and such. Nope! The crowd remained the same totally weird mix the show had started with: a half-dozen bro-dudes in wifebeaters; a couple of those long-haired metalheads who stand in place and air shred; lots of 15-year-olds seemingly stoked on seeing their first show; and then some other kids in their late-teens that seemed to appreciate both DEP's highly technical and experimental/melodic personalities.

But that didn't really factor into my enjoyment of Dillinger's set, which was pretty high. I actually think it was kind of a tame set, but as a fan who's been following them since Miss Machine dropped (which really isn't that long), I generally know what to expect: Greg Puciato climbing on some shit to piss off security; Ben Weinman serrating his guitar and looking like he's having a spazz attack; all band members giving 110% energy while staying true to the sound, complex structure of the songs. But even when I know it's coming, it induces smiles.

There was another treat, though, and that was a few new songs. The first, "Good Neighbor," raged like a Calculating Infinity-era cut. The other, "Farewell, Mona Lisa," was this pretty epic song, maybe the longest in the band's catalog so far; there's plenty of technical intensity throughout, but towards the finish, Puciato and company repeatedly howl "What am I supposed to say?!" until it burns holes in the listener's brain. At least, I'm pretty sure that's how it finished, though it seems different in this version.

A few other familiar staples were pleasantly awesome and had plenty reaction ("Panasonic Youth," "Milk Lizard," "Sugar Coated Sour" and "43% Burnt," etc. al). By set's end, Puciato had dove over the barrier and into the crowd, awkwardly body-surfing during the corrosive finish to "43% Burnt" until he was pulled back onto the stage. Apparently guitarist Jeff Tuttle even took a leap into the crowd, but I think he cleared the couple rows of kids that had crowded the barricade, as I saw him walking back from where the pit was, guitar in hand, as soon as the song ended.

Set list (8:42-9:31):
  1. Good Neighbor [new]
  2. Panasonic Youth
  3. Fix Your Face
  4. Milk Lizard
  5. Sugar Coated Sour
  6. When Good Dogs Do Bad Things
  7. Mouth of Ghosts
  8. Sunshine the Werewolf
  9. Horse Hunter
  10. Farewell, Mona Lisa [new]
  11. 43% Burnt

I think Thursday's reaction may not have been as great. It was just more weirdness to not see the fervent response they tend to get (and especially when I saw them play Full Collapse a month and a half ago), and the band played kind of a short set to boot. There was a slight rawness to their performance, with frontman Geoff Rickly's voice pretty much shot to hell by "Resuscitation of a Dead Man." Hope he stocked up on honeybears for the rest of this tour.

Keyboardist Andrew Everling was practically hidden in the background as he added a careful layer to some songs and some sampling in others (it sounded like Tim McIlrath's guest spot in "Resuscitation of a Dead Man" was played straight over the speakers, unless someone in the band was doing a spot-on impression for that "Breathe in! / Breathe out!" bit).

But the set was still very enjoyable, and again cool to see the band play a more intimate venue (despite the barrier, this place has a pretty small stage and low ceiling). "Between Rupture and Rapture" was criminally underappreciated, but "Cross Out the Eyes" and "Understanding in a Car Crash" (back to back, no less!) got the big sing-alongs one would expect them to. I do really wish I'd gone to that War All the Time show. Hmph.

Geoff gave a shout-out to the hardcore kids too for "sticking with them all these years" and staying loyal. That was cute, though I don't think there were too many there.

Set list (9:51-10:43):
  1. The Other Side of the Crash / Over and Out (Of Control)
  2. For the Workforce, Drowning
  3. Between Rupture and Rapture
  4. Cross Out the Eyes
  5. Understanding in a Car Crash
  6. Resuscitation of a Dead Man
  7. At This Velocity
  8. Division St.
  9. Circuits of Fever
  10. Beyond the Visible Spectrum
  11. Signals Over the Air
  12. Jet Black New Year

When you pair together behemoths like Thursday and Dillinger Escape Plan and add a comparably exotic bonus like Fake Problems, you expect one hell of a show. This wasn't quite it, but it was a good time at least.