I shouldn’t have gone to this show. Five days into a cold or flu or whatever phlegmatic shitshow I’m still enjoying this evening and deep into the dizzying twilight of the third migraine of the week, I was dizzy and hacking and weak and would’ve done a better service to my brittle fucking skin by staying in, drinking tea and mumbling sweet feverish nothings to recycled sitcom tropes. But I didn’t. I sucked it up, swallowed some OTC speed and headed into the capacity carnage with the knowledge that this would be Dillinger’s last stand in NYC and missing that would be a fucking sin.
There’s no reason I should like this band. They’re hard-tuned, alt-rock (of sorts and more than a touch of yore) played proficiently and almost funky and the lady at the mic has a serious set of oiled pipes, belting and bellowing without a crack or flat and usually any band this able makes my teeth itch but I don’t know. They had something devilish about them. Something begging to unhinge and as their set progressed I could see why Emmett spoke so highly of them. Their last song was a rager and if they’d been presented in a more claustrophobic setting I probably would’ve loved them.
I’ve seen Cult Leader before so I should know they’re monsters. I should expect the heave and growl. The scorching shadows. The sweet, foul smell of stale blood like cum on gasoline. And maybe I did and just left that memory with my lungs last summer or maybe I forgot or maybe it doesn’t matter who or what happens between experiencing these fucking behemoths take the stage because their contempt is so grotesque and debased it always seems freshly horrific.
Yes and no. It’s tough. Lord knows I adore some Southern death roll what with my persistent chubby for Scouts Honor and Mule but there’s something about O’Brother that just didn’t sink it’s teeth in me. I think it was something to do with the marriage of post rock and clean singing. Maybe they were just too goddamn careful and pretty. I don’t know. I appreciated the ever-living shit out of their wailing beef and all and I totally get why their t-shirts sell but a man like me needs more abandon. More deep-fried lunacy.
Dillinger Escape Plan
Well, shit. Here we are again, DEP. Seems like it wasn’t so long ago that I was missing your gigs at CBs because Ralphy Boy got my friend too goddamn high or there were pitbulls to tend or beers were cheaper elsewhere and I already had a hard-on for Botch so whatever but that was more than a decade ago, wasn’t it? Your frontman was skinny, then and you’d yet to find the true stride of your violence so maybe it was for the best that I didn’t see you until 200..um at the Lion’s Den? Some tiny fuckhole NYC joint with City of Caterpillar. And you were great, yeah, but CoC was my in and apex but it was choice of you to cover “Wish” and the bruise boys had no idea how to slam to your quantum hell carnival theory (and they still don’t) and Greg swang like an ape and blood was drawn and hearts were broken and…shit. Was that really ten years ago? It might be longer. Goddamn. We aren’t such young men, anymore, are we fellas? I hear that’s okay but it’s scary, isn’t it? Not as frightening, I suppose, as leaping from the balcony or being Ben Weinman any day there’s a stage, but still. How the hell do we keep doing this when our bones creak and our throats close and the gray has it’s way with our humors? Forgive me. I’m suckering in for sentimentality; considering what was when I should be neck deep in the NOW as I was with the sweat and the screams and the bodies flung up against the dying of the light but that’s all too much to recount, to consider, to adequately turn from jubilant terror to objective truth so fuck it.
I’ll remember this night as a blur.