Dillinger Escape Plan is one hell of a band. Coachella is one hell of a music festival. Bring the two together and what results is an unfathomably energetic live performance. Sure, having such an extreme metal/hardcore band at Coachella is a bit strange, but after experiencing the show, it became quite evident that there was no better place for the chaotic outfit to do what they do best: destroy instruments and blow eardrums.
Being the second YouTube Live article documenting a Dillinger Escape Plan live show, for me, it has become a sort of series chronicling the unique chaos and intensity the group brings to each and every one of their performances. Ben Weinman and the rest of Dillinger never disappoint when playing live and at this year’s Coachella was no different.
“Farewell, Mona Lisa” opens up with guitarist, Weinman, jumping from a speaker to the front of the stage making the crowd erupt in fists only seen in shadows on speakers and on the band’s legs. What’s cool about these guys is that they’re almost always at the front of the stage actually playing to the fans who came to see them. Unlike most groups who try to stay shrouded in darkness on the back half of the stage (cough*Tool*cough), Dillinger Escape Plan stay as close to the crowd as possible, sometimes even diving into the crowd or allowing the crowd to sing with them as seen at about 3:15 in the video.
There are many more lively occurrences that happen during the show, each of them showing why the guys of Dillinger bring to the stage an unmatched presence and unique personality. At about 15 seconds in, someone in the crowd throws a baseball cap at lead singer, Greg Puciato, who then puts it on. Thirty-eight seconds in, Weinman runs to the back, jumps on the drums and then smashes a cymbal with his hand as he jumps back off. Many strange faces, eye contact and hands go out to singular people in the crowd and at 2:13, myself included.
The end of the video shows Weinman falling off of a cabinet and then jumping back onto the drum set for one more rageful spout. The rest of the group joins in and starts to destroy the drums. Puciato takes a cymbal, throws it across the stage, and then chases after it while a security guard chases after him. He then climbs onto a massive hanging speaker while a faint chant of “bring it down” is quietly heard. Bass player Liam Wilson smashes a drum head, the music stops, and only then is cheering heard.
All of these little nuances and quirks make the band and their live experience what it is. Even after a full 13 years, the group doesn’t seem to be slowing down, only speeding up as time goes on. Their live shows are full of chaos and the crowds are always completely relentless. So why, with all of the excitement around him, does the security guard yawn at 42 seconds into the video? Probably because the crowd and the band, like vampires, are sucking the energy out of all of the people not actually enjoying the show. Some people can’t handle it, I guess.