Dismemberment Plan/Cex - live in Galesburg, IL (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Dismemberment Plan / Cex

live in Galesburg, IL (2002)

live show

Weeknight shows are the best. You almost always have to make sacrifices to go, but it almost always is worth it. Bands seem to put in a little bit more for the people who venture out on weeknights, too. This was most assuredly the case on Wednesday, March 28th. After convincing Greg [you may remember him from accompanying me to the Promise Ring show 2 weeks earlier] and newcomers Cara and Kate, we set off on a dark Wednesday night to Knox College, the site of the rock show.

We arrived in the middle of openers Driver Of The Year's set. It was nothing too spectacular, indie rock with Moogs at times. Out of the songs I caught, I did enjoy it, but I wouldn't rush out to buy a CD anytime soon. They did give out some badass buttons, though, using a variation of the AC/DC logo [DO/TY was their version]. The small crowd applauded politely, and the band left the stage.

Another great part of shows in general is seeing what music will be played over the PA. A good choice will enhance the show even more; conversely a bad choice will leave you with a sour taste in your mouth. What was put on? Well, after some dreamy indie rock was started, it suddenly cut off and the refrains of "Come on ride the train, and ride it!" began to echo through out the student union. That's right, the Quad City DJs were being pumped out of the PA. This made me wonder what Cex would be like. Then he took the stage.

Cex [pronounced like the act of fornication] was like nothing I had ever seen before. No, wait, one act compares: Har Mar Superstar. Imagine a serious version of Har Mar Superstar. Cex was a rapper, and frankly was damn good. His phat beats all came out of his iMac and his rhymes all came out of nowhere. I'd compare him to an underground Eminem [sans profanity and pointless gay/woman bashing] who was a stand-up comedian between songs. Very entertaining, be looking out for this Baltimore rapper.

Finally, the band we had all come to see: The Dismemberment Plan. The crowd grew exponentially, it seemed, and Greg and I took our spots on the deserted side of the "stage" [really it was just behind one of the PA speakers - another benefit to a tiny weeknight show, no stage!] to watch their drummer totally destroy. The Plan, fresh off their "Death and Dismemberment Tour" with Death Cab For Cutie, rocked the crowd senseless for 80 minutes straight.

They played a bunch of new tracks like "Time Bomb," "Ellen and Ben," "Pay For The Piano," and "Secret Curse," as well as a bunch of tracks off "Emergency & I" like "The City, "What Do You Want Me To Say," "Gyroscope" [by request!], and of course, the neverending crowd pleaser "The Ice Of Boston." They even played "The Dismemberment Plan Gets Rich" off their split with Juno, which I thought was cool.

Singer Travis flailed all around, drummer Joe broke about a dozen sticks during the frenetic set, and much rock was to be had during an approximately 15 minute jam out at the end of their set. Both Cex and their sound guy joined them onstage to keep the rock flowing, with Cex and Travis trading back the hooks from current pop songs while the bass and drums laid down a funky beat. Everything from Juvenile to Sum 41 was recited, and the crowd loved every minute of it. Finally Travis snapped and began humping a guy who had sat in a chair in the front the entire show almost motionless. He rode him like a bucking bronco as the band increased to a fever pitch and the crowd swelled forward to capture the moment on film. This concert was absolutely amazing.

After the band came back out to do a well-deserved encore and then hit the proverbial showers, we all left satisfied. An 80 minute show in a really small random place on a weeknight, for free? Nights don't get much better. Bands don't get much better.