This is third time I’ve seen the Dillinger Escape Plan and was so far the best.

The first time I saw them was way back in 2001. They were supporting System of a Down and my basic reaction was “What the hell was that?” I had no idea what they were about, what the appeal was, where songs started and finished and was thoroughly unimpressed and bemused. Shame on me ! I got myself an education in the following years and grew to like, then love them. Now they are one of my favourite bands, so when I saw they were touring I instantly booked a date in my diary.

The thing with Dillinger is they are a tough band to just go and watch if you don’t really know their music. They are ferocious and intense and there is lot to take in, but they are ultimately worth it. Having become a lot more familiar with them made this gig to me incredible. The thing that you soon realise about the Dillinger Escape Plan is how tight they are as musicians. They seem to play at 100mph the whole time, and this is no different live. They are an incredible live experience.

There was a huge cheer when the lights finally went down in the venue and a silent 1930’s style film showed people being hypnotised was beamed onto a screen over the stage. The Dillinger Escape Plan then took to the stage and tore into ‘Panasonic Youth’, the opening track from their second full length album ‘Miss Machine'. By beginning with such a full tilt song it was clear immediately that this was going to be a great gig from the start.

“We’ve not toured here for two years so let's not fuck around. This one's called '43%'” was the proclamation from frontman Greg Puciato, before they went straight into one of their old school crowd favourites from their debut album, 'Calculating Infinity', much to the crowd’s delight. They then played the first two tracks of their superb latest release ‘Ire Works’, before more material still from ‘Calculating Infinity’.

They slipped in several of their newer songs in along the way, and also played a lot more of their more straightforward songs – I use this term very, very loosely, as nothing this band do is straightforward or regular, I merely refer to songs with a bit more of a chorus such as ‘Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants’ and ‘Highway Robbery'.

‘Black Bubblegum’, the lead single from 'Ire Works', sounds incredible and note perfect tonight. Guitarist Ben Weimen jumps off and on the amplifiers, one of them looking the whole time like it was going to collapse, throughout it.

The new material shines through tonight and stands up alongside all the other songs the band have done which have led them to become one of the most loved heavy bands in the world. The group's performance sums their music up perfectly tonight, being brutal, intense and intricate. Please, please go and see them if you ever get the chance.

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Commenting On: Academy 2, Newcastle, 13/2/2008 - Dillinger Escape Plan

ie London, England

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