The Dillinger Escape Plan “1997-2017”

The Dillinger Escape Plan played their last three shows this past week and gave the ultimate gift to their fans. For those who’ve followed the band from the start, this past week showcased a lifetime worth of work from a group of dudes masterminded by a chaotic vision. The band pulled all the stops on their last performance starting with a set featuring Mike Patton to showcase their live rendition of Irony Is A Dead Scene, to a string quartet on their final performance. Original vocalist Dimitri even performed on vocals for a few deep cuts, and Adam Doll took the stage to mark the first time in years him and Ben were on stage together to truly capture a remarkable moment for the band in which three founding members were present at the same time. Why Chris Pennie wasn’t included somewhere throughout the course of the week will probably play out like a Bill Ward drama in the years to come.
   It’s absolutely mind blowing to think this band is hanging the towel. Their live performances have always been the best, and were always a guaranteed place for fans to safely lose their minds. From the curated setlist that knew how to peak just right to get the most insane crowd reactions, to the insane light show that may have been accompanied by Greg spitting fire and diving off of balconies.
     Throughout the past ten years, the band seemed to have energized from a second wind, releasing some of the most thought provoking, creative metal and alternative rock that ever existed. While the band (Ben Weinman) was faced with adversity and struggled with their lineup after their first three releases (that EP, Under The Running Board, and their debut), the Mike Patton tinge gave Greg a compass to develop and charter into deep terrain to truly shape the band into something remarkable upon his onboarding. The fact that Patton was so aware of the band’s existence in their juvenile, almost foundational origins indicates early signs of Ben’s genius and his ability to express his intentions incredibly well. Their early networking has always been a wonder in my mind. 
     Greg seemed to have generated an artistic chemistry with Ben since Miss Machine that essentially led to some of the biggest ballads in rock history, infusing clean vocals into the group in a way that was never expected. He also gave the band and Ben’s concept the frontman it deserved. Ire Works and their last three albums would produce some incredible, boundary-pushing content that made for the best material in metal and hardcore. While the main artery of the band has always been a pummeling shrill so intense in its delivery, hounded by blast beats and staccato drumming, Greg introduced a side to the group that Calculating Infinity never dabbled in, and his vocals were capable of being so passionate and vulnerable, while still screaming to a point of absolute insanity. There’s many times live where he just simply swallows the microphone.
     It’s been a wild and interesting experience for those of us who grew up listening to the band and going to their shows for twenty years. While I certainly don’t remember the band being this insane back in 2001 or 2002 when they performed on the Plea For Peace tours with Poison The Well and Eighteen Visions, but when they came around after Option Paralysis it seemed like nothing was safe anymore, and the band had no boundaries, being supported by some immortal insurance policy. Many times I’ve seen them live and their equipment was being thrown around like garbage, and very often right into the audience.
     Tonight, I wish I never missed an opportunity to have seen the band, as I’m sure there was the occasional tour that maybe came too soon after Warped Tour, or that Summer Slaughter set that was just on the wrong Tuesday night. The Dillinger Escape Plan is one of the greatest bands to ever exist, and this is hardly a mark in what will go down in the books to be a historic and prolific career. Their absence will be felt heavily in the music community, and hopefully the band returns for special appearances and connect for creative material in a healthy, manageable capacity that’s mutually beneficial for the band and their fans. I know there’s been plenty of press and articles talking about the band’s demise, but I truly have a hard time believing Ben is done with all things Dillinger.

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