Live Review: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Great Hall 2, 1.11.12


Upgraded from the Solus to the cavernous Great Hall, the feverishness that surrounds tonight’s rare Dillinger Escape Plan UK appearance is palpable. Openers Maybeshewill channel this energy into a gargantuan feast of perfectionist post-rock. Peppered with spoken word samples and strobe lighting, the awed silence that pervades the room somehow speaks volumes.

Three Trapped Tigers’ electronic noise-rock occupies a far different end of the instrumental spectrum. The band’s on-record ability to mix jarring electronic wizardry with a muddled sense of melody is inspiring enough, but watching them somehow recreate it live invokes a whole new level of respect for the trio’s talents.

As 9pm rolls around, the packed out Great Hall hints at the reverence that surrounds tonight’s headliners. The sea of beards indicates the circles from which this reverence emanates, though The Dillinger Escape Plan may just be the metalheads’ best kept secret. Dillinger are an abrasive but breath-taking assault on the senses, whose metallic, mathematic and melodic output holds more in common with an ironworks than Iron Maiden.
They may have arrived in Cardiff a day late for Halloween, but the band bring the horror with them, flanking themselves with screens displaying eerie, jarring imagery. The true spectacle, however, lies with the band themselves. Frontman Greg Puciato and guitarist Ben Weinmann make the perfect pairing – a seemingly unanimous mass of muscle and madness, health and safety take a swift nosedive within seconds of stage time. From walking on the crowd, to hurling microphone stands at each other, to flailing guitars around by their straps like maces; the set is an hour and a half of pure, unconfined chaos – though never once does the music suffer at the hands of the stage show. Intense, insane and incomparable – Dillinger’s legacy is well rooted.

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