The Dillinger Escape Plan @ Kung Fu Necktie with The Number 12 Looks Like You.
Text and images by Rick Kauffman.
It was uncomfortable sweat, the kind that burns the eyes that you can’t whip clean. Clothes were drenched, walls condensing, and everyone squinted at the seizure-inducing strobes pulsing to the wild and unfettered rhythms of The Dillinger Escape Plan.
The nucleus of the crowd, crammed front and center at Kung Fu Necktie on Thursday night, had people pushed so tight forward they were falling over the lip of the stage the entirety of the set. No mercy. Spread to the back, the 150-cap venue had people hanging from the walls, standing on ledges that were never meant as bleachers, but were necessary if you wanted a piece of the action.
Starting off with the first track off their most recent release, One of Us is the Killer, released in 2013, the song ‘Prancer’ has become ubiquitous as their opener as of late. One of the last times around in their ongoing sold-out (or near it) streak at Union Transfer, singer Greg Puciato said after they closed out the previous UT show with a mob on stage, calling everyone up for the ruckus finisher, they’d begin that show the way the last one ended. From then on, ‘Prancer’ became the high-energy opener fitting of the tech metal pioneers.
The second song, ‘Limerent Death,’ is a banger off their forthcoming album Disassociation, dropping October 14, 2016. Guitarist Ben Weinman said recently via Noisey and a subsequent Instagram post that after the tour cycle of their upcoming sixth full-length the band will go on indefinite hiatus after nearly 20 years as a band.
To be clear, they aren’t finished yet.
On a short tour that hit spots on the east and west coasts, and not very many stops in between, the band was joined by another just returned from hiatus, The Number 12 Looks Like You, who split in 2010 before recently returning under the guise of The Devil’s Dick Disaster, the first track from their 2005 album, Nuclear. Sad. Nuclear.
Down from the previous six members that once spewed havoc and organized dissonance, two members returned, vocalist Jesse Korman and drummer Alexis Pareja. Renewed as a four-piece, they needed help from the crowd to scream the parts of the second vocalist they once enjoyed. However, a tighter group may be best for #12 as they potentially plan a comeback. They sounded clean, tight and as heavy as they ever did.
The drenched bodies surfing on each other’s heads and blindly shouting along was only the warm up before the pummeling that DEP put on those in attendance.
Halfway through the DEP set, Weinman walked on heads before grabbing onto the ceiling fan twelve people deep into the mass. He bent and twisted the blades, which left KFN ownership shaking their heads after the masses spilled onto the streets.
Fans came from as far as Michigan to catch a glimpse of DEP on the smallest stage they’ve played in years, probably since the time they tore the Barbary to pieces. One guy had caught the shows in Baltimore and New York City. He arrived in Philly with a gash on his head caused by Weinman, whose patented trick is violently spinning his axe from one arm.
Dillinger will soon travel to the United Kingdom the Reading Festival before prepping for their final tour in the fall, much more likely to be held in a full-size venues after selling out the show at KFN in seconds.