Live Review: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Closure In Moscow

20 October 2017 | 3:42 pm | Rod Whitfield

"You can hear it, you can see it, you can feel it viscerally and you can almost taste the sweat pouring off the stage."

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The first thing you notice about Melbourne powerhouse Closure In Moscow is how indefinable they are. They flatly refuse to sit comfortably in any convenient box, throwing funky vibes, Mars Volta-style madness and a Zeppelin-esque swagger into the volatile boiling pot that is their overall presentation. The next thing you notice is just how ridiculously tight they are. Then, it's how effortlessly and effervescently cool they are. Then it's how great their tunes are (especially triumphant closer Happy Days). And finally, just how much fun you are having watching them. An hour-long set for a local support is a wonderful thing and these guys grasp the opportunity with their collective ten highly skilled hands, sending the already packed-out Thursday night Corner crowd into rock'n'roll rapture. Closure In Moscow are almost 'opposite ends of the spectrum' different from the headliner this night, but it hardly matters when you are this damn good.

There is an air of bittersweet irony in the mind of this scribe tonight, because it's the first time seeing The Dillinger Escape Plan on their last-ever tour. Once is better than never, however. A bunch of eardrum-rattling bass drops herald the arrival of this legendary five-piece and nothing but unmitigated chaos ensues. As if in celebration of the mayhem they bring to the stage every night, both frontman Greg Puciato and guitar player Ben Weinman are in the crowd during the first song with the heaving wall of punters, who seem to spend long periods upside down and climbing Corner Hotel's famous-but-annoying pillars.

The Dillinger Escape Plan live show is a multi-sensory experience. You can hear it, you can see it, you can feel it viscerally, and you can almost taste the sweat pouring off the stage and flowing out of the jam-packed punters. When watching this band play live, you can understand why they have decided to call it a day after two decades together; this kind of bruising physicality could not be sustained forever. It is a stunning spectacle, but a draining one.

Something that is underrated in their live set though, overshadowed by the pandemonium they bring every night, is the sheer variation that they display from song to song and moment to moment. Sometimes it's a frenetic flurry of frenzied notes, sometimes it opens out to a fat, relatively simple rock groove and just about everything in between. Puciato even gives us a snatch of an Elton John song!  

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A one hour set proper, a couple of encores and both band and sold-out crowd alike have wrung every last drop of sweat and drained all remaining energy from their bodies. All walk away exhausted but exhilarated. What a stunning farewell to, and a sad celebration of, an almighty contributor to the history of modern progressive and heavy music.