LIVE: The Dillinger Escape Plan @ The Old Blue Last, London

By Ben Tipple

Eleven seconds. When that’s the amount of time it takes for a show to sell out, it’s destined to be special. Not surprising considering the dedicated fan-base noise-masters The Dillinger Escape Plan have honed over their nigh on twenty-year career, nor their recent decision to call it a day following the forthcoming ‘Dissociation’ LP. Any chance to see the technical maestros in a venue of this size – The Old Blue Last boasting a maximum capacity of less than two hundred – is one to be savoured.

The atmosphere is amplified by the sweltering heat outside; the hottest day of the year so far. Sweat literally drips off the ceiling. Fans bundle out of the heaving mosh-pit as if they had dropped into a pool. The Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciato shares a similar fate, although his movement is unavoidably restricted by the stage’s intimate size. Guitarist, programmer and all-round musical mastermind Ben Weinman fares better, standing above the speaker stack or inadvertently smashing a lightbulb with his guitar head whilst crowd surfing.

Yet the majority of the carnage is left to the audience, one who are clearly enamoured by the sheer ridiculousness of seeing a band of this stature play a venue of this size. It has its inevitable downfalls, at best the equipment struggles to keep up with the sound channelling through the five-piece, and the venue size forces the band to hold back on their on-stage antics. But to the lucky few, this is irrelevant. The unrelenting pit opens to the size of almost the entire venue as The Dillinger Escape Plan launch into ‘Farewell, Mona Lisa’.

Perhaps The Dillinger Escape Plan have played finer shows, or at least more appropriate venues, but a show such as this is so far removed from being judged on precision. The energy is astounding, both from the stage and from the crowd, all of whom deserve a heap of praise for their ferocious dedication. Because to witness a band such as this in a venue of this size, possibly for the last time, is a truly momentous occasion. To do so with a throng of uncompromising die-hard fans is simply unforgettable.