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A Farewell to Dillinger

By Brent Angermiller

     Most people who have seen The Dillinger Escape Plan will tell you that it’s not your typical metal show. Some might even say it’s the most metal show they’ve ever seen. They’ll tell you about how front man Greg Puciato spits fire, and about the blatant disregard for anyone’s safety throughout the show (that includes the bands safety as well.) You might have even heard about Puciato’s latest antic at their NYC show, when he climbed to the second story balcony and took a bite of someone’s burger, then leapt back into the crowd. With the announcement of a final tour and Paper Tiger to be the venue on November 3rd, this promised to be the show White Rabbit loyalists had been waiting for.

Opening with "Limerent Death", the first track off their latest and final album, Dissociation, the band took the stage with full force. The crowd responded with equal intensity as the pit opened up and the stage diving began. Stage diving is commonplace at a Dillinger show, as Puciato made clear at the Paper Tiger when he said, “I want you guys to look like fucking Michael Jordan jumping off this stage!” While some responded to the call and took to the air, the many stayed grounded. Puciato encouraged fans to give everything they had, to leave it all on the floor that night. Dillinger has never been known to pull punches, but it seemed as though the band was only willing to give back what the crowd was willing to give.

Looking out amongst the bobbing heads and gaps in the mosh pit, it appeared that the energy of a Dillinger show was slightly lacking. When a band of this caliber announces their final album and final tour, it’s the crowd’s responsibility to wish them a proper farewell. The band’s sound provided ample opportunity for madness, bringing on a feeling capable of inciting chaos as they played classics like "Panasonic Youth", "Sugar Coated Sour", and "Farewell, Mona Lisa". The set ended with "43% Burnt," a heavy hitting crowd favorite that’s usually followed up with Greg bringing out a flaming torch and him spitting fire over people’s heads. Alas, there were no flames. The new tracks like "Symptoms of Terminal Illness" and "Surrogate" were filled with all the blast beats and off tempo shredding that would appease any fan. The diehards packed in the front and sang along throughout the night. They tromped through the pit, they jumped off the speakers, they did everything they could to raise the energy of the crowd, but there just weren’t enough of them. The overall demeanor behind the pit was docile, as if people were there to be able to say they were there, many viewing the show through their phone. While the intensity was strong at the start, it dwindled by the end.

The Dillinger Escape Plan will go down in the history books as one the greatest of all time, and they bow out gracefully at the top of their game. The release of Dissociation emphasizes the idea that while some of us may have forgotten, Dillinger has remained. As they branch away from their old sounds and New Jersey style, we get the sense that they are no longer bound to an era or geography. They have created a space for themselves that is original and fresh, which is hard to come by these days. Anyone who was at the Paper Tiger that night will never forget it. There was a sense of nostalgia for many, to be in such a historically known place for metal music, and to be there to send the band off on their final tour is something for anyone to behold.

Dillinger Escape Plan by @tonyrojasiii