DILINGER ESCAPE PLAN @ The Palace, Melbourne


Brace yourselves for a stern lesson in music, as lectured by Dillinger Escape Plan.

There will be no need to sit up straight or be punctual, yet you will be required to do your homework if you are to understand the background of this multi- dimensional band. And try to concentrate, if you can amongst the chaos.

You will cover the subjects of genealogy to decipher band members – who left, who came and who disappeared. Band curses, stage pandemonium and the emergence of a technical and highly aggressive strain of hardcore metal pioneered by the band itself and named, Mathcore.

There is no simplicity when it comes to Dillinger Escape Plan. No easy road to notoriety with original band members or initial sound. Talk about a lesson in music.

It has been an evolution of sorts from its inception back in 1997, after the disbanding of Arcane. The only original member left is lead guitarist, Ben Weinman who has witnessed the band go through as many members as Elizabeth Taylor has husbands. Dimitri Minakakis was the original vocalist who was then momentarily replaced by Faith No More front man and iconic music figure, Mike Patton.

Patton initially invited Dillinger to come on tour with his Mr Bungle outfit, ending up doing lead vocals on their Irony Is A Dead Scene album back in 2002. Funnily enough, the album was recorded with Patton on vocals, whilst Minakakis’ actual replacement, Greg Puciato went on tour to promote the album.

If that isn’t confusing enough, the band also had a member, Derek Brantley, literally disappear off the face of the planet – apparently no one knows if he’s dead or alive. Plus, Dillinger’s original drummer, Chris Pennie, left before 2006 to join Coheed and Cambria.

I won’t even get into the how accident prone all members of this band are and have been – it is more than evident when viewing Dillinger Escape Plan live for yourself.

Rumbling on stage at the Palace in Melbourne, current members of the band displayed with uninhibited vigor just how chaotic, frenzied and convulsive a Dillinger show can be. Thrashing about on guitars were Weinman, Tuttle and Wilson, with Sharone pounding mercilessly on the drums and Puciato demonstrating his electrifying stage presence.

Notorious for whacked out gigs which include special effects, fire- breathing and absolutely no regard for safety, Puciato stage dived head first into the mosh pit, unyielding in his use of the stage, jumping from platforms and amps with athletic ease.

The acute energy from the band’s performance was evidently satisfying for the loyal legion of fans. Unfortunately, there were no fire- breathing antics with the show stopping as severely as it had begun, with an obvious aversion to encores which I have never seen from any other band. Must be a heavy metal thing. At least you won’t be seeing these Dillinger dudes in detention – they’re already wagging first period.

Class dismissed.


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