The Dillinger Escape Plan /w Animals As Leaders + Darkest Hour | April 2010 @ The Rickshaw Theater

If you’ve never seen any live videos of The Dillinger Escape Plan playing, I suggest you get yourself over to YouTube and look at a few before reading this review, because it is something you will need to do to get the full effect of this band.

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Upon Arriving…

My two friends, Mike and Jet, and I arrived in Vancouver about an hour before The Dillinger Escape Plan show started.

The Rickshaw Theater is located directly in the center East Hasting Street, which is junkie central, surrounded by all the muck and dirt and slime that you can possibly imagine.

The crazy heroin-type people are running fairly active on the streets.

A woman completely stoned out of her mind screams at the lot of us in line, telling us we are all “sheep” for waiting in line for a concert (although the Irony that we are seeing a fairly underground metal band seemed to have flown right over her head.)

A hipster in line in front of us tells us all about how he knows The Dillinger Escape Plan personally and how his band 5 years ago actually played alongside Between the Buried and Me.

He said that they originally had opened for his band, but after the first show of the tour “Between the Buried and Me” were so good that they headlined the tour instead.

He was a fairly condescending fellow. Actually, he was a pretty big douche.

Animals As Leaders Set

Both Animals as Leaders and Darkest Hour opened for Dillinger at this show.

First up was Animals as Leaders.

They warmed up their instruments, and Tosin (Lead guitarist) walked on stage with one of the coolest, jazziest outfits I’ve ever seen. It was like a cross between Indiana Jones and Mos Def in a white suit.

“This guy needs to be taken seriously.” I think to myself.

They have a MIDI Laptop that they play along with. Even with the insane amount of shredding that Tosin has to do, and the ridiculous speed he plays at, they never go out of time with the computer, and the electronics don’t take away from the actual performance in any way.

Of course, like every computer on the planet, after the 2nd song their it crashes and we all wait 10 minutes for them to reboot it.

It’s a bit distracting, but even with that blunder I would say it was a really incredible performance that I would love to see again.

After they finish their astounding set, there is a short break while the second band comes on.

Darkest Hour Hits The Stage And...

…they blow chunks. I was actually really surprised to hear that some people were at this show just to see them, rather than Dillinger!

When the drummer came on stage to set up the drum set, I thought he was a Rhoadie. That’s how unextraordinary they were…I thought they were the Rhoadies before they started playing their set and I realized that this was the actual band.

"Hey you there! Rhoadies! Take this equipme...oh wait, you're the band!"

Their mix was really unbalanced, and all you could really hear in the end was guitar. The music itself was really droney and indistinct, and just really, really boring.

It’s not something I would ever really want to see again.

Even though I did have fun, smacking that creepy guy in the mosh pit who stomps around in a trench coat looking angry, the band just stunk.

Nasty, stinky balls.

Luckily, a big surprise (or a big ‘expected’) was here. Dillinger…

The Big Lebowski, The Grand Kahuna: The Dillinger Escape Plan!

In between Darkest Hour and Dillinger, me and my ‘mates plowed our way to the front of the crowd and got ourselves wedged in between the crowd and that sticky black metal bar.

This is better than front row seats if you ask me. In a venue where only 800 people can fit, standing up at the front is easily as good as it gets.

We wait in anticipation…

…and the lights go dark.

Screaming out of the dark; The Dillinger Escape plan start their set. But to say they just “started playing” would be the grossest understatement I could ever make.

They freaking exploded onto the stage!

Their perfectly timed strobe lights, along with their balanced mix and flaming high energy almost made me drop a log.

My heart began even harder than riding the most intense rollercoaster.

And in the most cliché way, my fist pumped to the sky in applause and admiration. After only 10 seconds, The Dillinger Escape Plan had captured my heart with the most intense concert that I have ever been a part of.

Throughout the concert, the most spectacular things happened.

From Greg reaching down into the audience and screaming straight into my face, staring directly into my soul and grabbing me by the scruff of my collar, to Ben Weinman stepping out onto my shoulders and shredding a guitar solo as I held his legs firmly in place; it was all incredible.

At one point Greg climbed up onto the side of the stage and started smashing the hanging PA speakers with his microphone stand.

And then there was the point where he flipped over the top cabinet of their Marshall full stack, almost going into the audience and crushing us (which I wish had happened…)

And to top it on, Ben did front flips into the audience repeatedly, while still playing intense songs like “Room Full of Eyes”.

All of this, while playing the most wicked set list ever. Speaking of set list, here it is (In no particular order, or accuracy…)

  • Fix Your Face
  • Panasonic Youth
  • Milk Lizard
  • Chinese Whispers
  • When Good Dogs Do Bad Things
  • Mouth of Ghosts
  • Black Bubblegum
  • Sugar Coated Sour
  • Sunshine the Werewolf
  • Room Full of Eyes
  • Parasitic Twins
  • Lurch
  • (Intro)
  • Good Neighbor
  • 43% Burnt
  • Farewell, Mona Lisa

Final Words

To say that this was only an awesome concert would be a terrible thing to say, because it was easily one of the best experiences of my life.

And for a guy that’s done all the amusement parks, cliff jumping, and snowboarding you would ever need, to say that this was the most fun he has ever had is a pretty big deal.

I’ve never had as much fun as this, and I implore you to go and see this band live if they are ever playing a show within an 8-hour radius of your current location!

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My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.

If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.

Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot. 

I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.