The Locust & Dillinger Escape Plan inflict pain upon Chicago!

Dillinger Escape Plan/The Locust - live in Chicago
live show - 2004

I went into this show looking to be disappointed. A few days after I purchased my ticket, I found out that the awe-inspiring F-Minus were playing at the Fireside Bowl the same night. Plans for going to both were concocted, but eventually dropped. Looked like I was going to have to settle for The Locust and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Boy, was I wrong.

Apparently there was a band called The Oath that played first. Oh well. I walked in right before Your Enemies Friends hit the stage. I knew they were involved with Buddyhead, which is a mixed bag. My initial reaction upon looking at them was "fucking hipster rock" and went downstairs to the coat check. With that completed (taking the EL in January is a bitch) I came back up and started to watch the set. The more I listened, the closer to the stage I moved. My head started to sway, my toes began to tap, my hips started to shake. As they left, I realized my snap judgment was wrong. They did what every opening band should do: get you in the mood for more music, and make you curious as to what their records sound like. I'll be checking them out in the future.

Next on was the Locust. Again, I felt a pang of trepidation. I wasn't sure how they would do in The Metro, a big leap forward from the Fireside and the Bottom Lounge. All doubts were erased the second they started up. In new white suits, the band did exactly what they were supposed to do, which is rock the fuck out. With one initial scream from Justin Pearson to properly test the mics, they launched into around 25 minutes of audio destruction. You know what the Locust sound like if you're reading this. It'd be really redundant to attempt an explanation. The band was on, 100%. I couldn't take my eyes off them as they tore through pretty much all of Plague Soundscapes, and ignoring the self-titled effort. I was hoping to hear "Brand New Set of Teeth" but alas, it wasn't meant to be. The heckling was held to a minimum. Not really a disappointment, but surprising. I would type a set list, but I want to keep this semi-concise. Highlights -- Live From the Russian Compound, Recyclable Body Fluids in Human Shape, Who Wants A Dose the Clap, and Twenty-Three Lubed Up Schizophrenics with Delusions of Grandeur.

With spooky background music and smoke machines going on, the time for Dillinger was obviously approaching. Right away, they blast into a psychotic rendition of "Hollywood Squares." If I were blind, I would think that it was actually Patton up there. Greg is one hell of a front man. The crowd was like play-doh in his hand. I lost count of how many times the guy almost fell into the teeming masses. I don't know how these guys do it. I couldn't play their songs sitting down in a tranquil atmosphere. They do it spot on while putting on an amazing spectacle. Three or four songs in, they busted out "The Mullet Burden" which expectedly got the biggest reaction. Why not, since it's my personal favorite song, as well as many others. They promised a new album in the next two to three months. I sincerely hope so. For about 45 minutes, nothing else in the world mattered. DEP had conquered their surroundings. Highlights -- Pig Latin, 43% Burnt, Sugar Coated Sour, When Good Dogs Do Bad Things.

I'll save my bitching about "hardcore dancing" for later, but I will ask this. When did you all become fucking ninjas?

Settling for this show? I think not. 4 Stars.

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