THE BEING THERE: Dillinger Escape Plan @ UT


Anybody who knows anything about thrash-y Jersey mathcore avatars The Dillinger Escape Plan went into Union Transfer last night expecting non-stop moshing, crowd surfing and acrobatic stage diving. But last night the barrier that usually separates the fans from the stage at these sort of shows was duly absent, which of course only further encouraged reckless stage-diving havoc while packing the front three rows of fans together smack up against the front of the stage like smelly, headbanging sardines. Mutoid Man, the supergroup consisting of members from the heavy hitting Cave In and the legendary Converge (one of my favorite groups live, ever) wasted absolutely no time heating up the room with their hasty riffs and relentless drum fills, finally awakening the crowd into the first frenzied pit of the event after a relatively dormant presence during openers Rosetta and Primitive Weapon. Sweet melodies of fast-paced thrash punk bounced around the room just like the by-then dripping-in-sweat moshers as the three-piece wrapped up their set of brain-melting punk rock, giving way to the entrance of The Dillinger Escape Plan. As DEP’s madman lead singer Greg Puciato appeared on-stage, the crowd immediately began morphing as the pit rapidly widened, pushing all onlookers up squished together against all four walls of the steamy punk rock purgatory Union Transfer had become. The pitch black room suddenly lit up with a seizure-inducing wall of strobe lights, and The Dillinger Escape Plan immediately kicked off their psychotic set with the killer “Mullet Burden,” causing countless fans to succumb to the all out sweaty blitz of a mosh pit that took full formation within seconds. Churning out disturbing anthems such as “Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants” and “Panasonic Youth,” upside-down bloodied up teenagers littered the crowd as the contorted stage flips maxed out at 30 kids a minute. Bodies continued pouring back out into the crowd and an accelerated rate, leading up to the climactic finale where Dillinger invites up as much of the crowd as humanly possible up on stage, which with the lack of a barrier and the energy of the crowd, was accomplished within 60 short seconds. The madness hit its absolute peak when the band climbed on top of their amps for the closing classic, “43% Burnt,” an the entire stage exploded into an uncontrollable moving mass of bodies, culminating in a brilliant 10-foot stage dive by Mr. Puciato. After successfully shoving every single stage-crasher back into the pit, now slippery with sweat and saliva, The Dillinger Escape Plan concluded their session of intense hardcore degeneracy and exited the stage, leaving a powder burn on the collective face Philadelphia once more. — DYLAN LONG