All good things come to an end and The Dillinger Escape Plan‘s journey was drawing to a close. Their lengthy amazing career of touring the world and destroying every venue was reaching the finishing line, so their final London show was mixed with sadness but also a celebration of what this band had achieved against the odds.
Primitive Weapons were a good opener who produced a solid display of hardcore, which while fun was often uninspired. The band looked a bit out of place on a larger stage, more used to the tiny clubs where they would come across better. It’s a style of music I had heard before by many better bands, but the band were still a good start to the show.
I say this without any bias, but Ho99o9 were one of the best live bands I had ever seen. From the moment they walked on (with one member wearing a wedding dress and upside down American flag as their backdrop), it was clear anything could happen. Ho99o9 were absolute bedlam, their fusion of Bad Brains-influenced punk mixed with noise and hip hop was completely original and awe-inspiring. For the thirty minutes they were on stage, they had the crowd in the palm of their hands. Speaking to the crowd, the band urged everyone to be safe in the pit, before jumping into the crowd themselves on multiple occasions. Ending with a cover of Bad Brain’s ‘Attitude,’ it was the end of something special. No wonder the band wanted to take a photo with the audience, as this is a set that no one would forget.
The Dillinger Escape Plan as expected were on another level. From the first note of the set, pandemonium broke out. The overbearing strobes added to the sense of madness as the band flung them about the stage and into the crowd while the fans clobbered each other in the pit. Swinging their instruments around the stage and jumping into the crowd, it was clear that while this was their final tour, they weren’t holding back. The songs themselves were their perfect manic self, ‘Milk Lizard’ and ‘Symptom of a Terminal Illness’ had everyone singing with the band, while ‘Sunshine the Werewolf,’ ‘Black Bubblegum’ and ‘Prancer’ had everyone jumping. There were no overlong speeches, no special guests, it was just the band in their element on stage doing what they did best and the show was better for it. Ending with the triple hit of ‘Mouth of Ghosts,’ ‘43% Burnt,’ and a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Wish,’ the band left from the stage over the allotted time, but it wouldn’t a Dillinger show if everything stuck to plan would it?
Two weeks after the show the band were involved in a horrific bus accident in Poland which resulted in 13 people being hospitalised, the rest of the tour was subsequently cancelled. But Dillinger have vowed to carry on and this setback will not stop them from filling out their remaining touring obligations, they will return stronger than ever.