Looking for a good place to see flashy and exciting music played at high volume, have your mind blown by dark and powerful sounds, or just stomp around like a drunken goon with your shirt off? Then a heavy metal concert might be just the place for you. Each month I'll be offering my top picks of the upcoming metal shows in town that I think shouldn't be missed. And I'll try really hard not to make fun of the ones I think should be avoided like that atrocious new
Bon Jovi Megadeth song.
Dillinger Escape Plan with The Faceless and Royal Thunder The Firebird, May 11th 8 p.m. / $18-$20
What can be said about the Dillinger Escape Plan that hasn't been said before? The band's comprehension of music, and how to write and perform it, is light years beyond all the rest of our understanding. I think I know what a 7/4 time signature is, and that's about as fancy as I get. First seeing the band open for Mr. Bungle at the Karma here in St. Louis back in 1999, I was told by friends they were your typical noisy hardcore band from New Jersey along the lines of Deadguy. But man, were they so much more. I felt like I was watching two guitarists play separate non-stop solos, while a drummer blasted around randomly and a bassist tried to keep the whole thing together as some psychopath screamed over it all. I didn't understand what I was watching, but I loved it.
Dillinger has obviously made some changes since that show almost fourteen years ago. Guitarist Ben Weinman is the only remaining member from those days, but the band still continues to push the envelope and challenge itself in new ways with every album. Love 'em, hate 'em, like the old stuff better, or have no idea who they are, the band puts on a show that's an assault on all the senses and never dull. Singer Greg Puciato is always a treat to watch, as he runs around like screaming mad Hulk and creates a sense of danger that is far too absent in frontmen these days.
Royal Thunder is an interesting choice for an opener, and its female-led doom rock adds some nice variety to the lineup. On the other hand, the Faceless is complete garbage, a fourth-rate Dillinger wannabe with cheeseball breakdowns galore. Go drink in the parking lot while the kids who think they're Tupac try to do karate moves.