Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Dillinger Escape Plan @ Chain Reaction, Anaheim. 5-20-13.

The Dillinger Escape Plan is pretty much my favorite band. Period. They're regarded as one of the best live bands on the planet, and craft some of the most challenging, but rewarding music around. If regular metal bands are akin to terminators, then Dillinger's music is Skynet. No, forget that, they're The Matrix. More technical and often times,  straight up mind bending, than should be humanly possible. The only thing more exciting than listening to new a Dillinger Escape Plan album, is seeing them perform live.

This was my 12th Dillinger show since 2004 and my fourth time seeing them at Chain Reaction. There's something about this venue that enhances the band's performance here. I've seen them play in larger clubs and theaters, in outdoor festivals and even a community recreation center, but Chain Reaction shows are always something special. The venue is a small all ages club, meaning all the crazy energetic youngsters who might not make into 18 & 21+ concerts can come inside and go wild. Also, it's a tiny place with no air conditioning, sold out shows like this one turn into giant sauna's. You hear people talk about artist's playing "intimate shows" and stuff like that, but you really have no idea what intimate is until you've got the band's blood and sweat on you like here at Chain Reaction.

I missed the first opening band Royal Thunder and saw most of The Faceless' set but don't really feel the need to report on it (the highlight of their performance was their super charged new drummer...wearing a Dillinger Escape Plan shirt). 

Dillinger came on at 9:30pm sharp. The sold out crowd was enthusiastic to say the least. I learned my lesson after damn near spraining my wrist at my last Dillinger show, as much as I would have loved to have sweated it out down in the front, old fellas like myself belong on the sidelines. The band opened with "Prancer," the first track off their new record, One of Us Is The Killer. I was pleasantly surprised that the band played such a "greatest hits" stacked setlist. I mean, they have a new album that just came out and they only played two new songs. Don't get me wrong though, I was stoked, STOKED they played old/rare jams like "The Mullet Burden" "Dead As History" and my favorite instrumental, "Calculating Infinity." I guess they'll play all their new material when they headline this year's Summer Slaughter summer.

So the band was on fire. Literally. The temperature was scorching inside Chain Reaction and by the end of the night pretty much everyone onstage (and lots of people in the crowd) were shirtless, it felt like I was watching The T-shirt Escape Plan. This was my first time seeing James Love perform with the band in almost seven years. James first toured with Dillinger when health problems forced guitarist Brian Benoit to leave the band in late 2004. James played with Dillinger until Jeff Tuttle officially joined the band in 2007. In 2012, after five years of service, Tuttle left the band to study film which has brought James Love back into the fold, circle of life complete.

credit to:
 I can't really get into specifics but the show was awesome. All of it. Dillinger shows are a participatory event. The crowd is almost just as important as the band in some respects. There was stage diving and crowd surfing galore. Everyone in the band (save for Billy holding it down on drums) spent some time jumping into the audience. An epic stage rush/Royal Rumble free for all ensued during the band's grand finale, "Sunshine The Werewolf" and "43%burnt" played back to back. It was sheer insanity and I loved every second of it. I can't wait to see Dillinger again this summer. I seriously think they might just destroy The House of Blues. 


  1. I thought that when a band had a new album out they tended to focus on songs like that. At least you weren't too disappointed they didn't. I think if I went to a show I'd want a healthy mix of new and old.

  2. Glad you enjoyed this mate, sounds like such a bitching gig to check out, awesome stuff!

  3. Not so jealous about this one. I'm glad you went, this seems like the type of show for the real fan. The dedicated lover who'll listen to everything and love it. I probably still would've loved it but I'd also feel out of place. Sounds great though. I hope I see them one day.

  4. 4 times, geez must really be and awesome time.