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Live Review: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Jack The Stripper

29 August 2015 | 9:28 am | David Adams

"It’s a fractious show that comes close to derailing."

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Strange and chaotic things happen to particles as they get smaller and faster. There’s a theory that blew apart conventional knowledge on the construction of matter and it states subatomic particles can defy their physical form and act as a wave instead. Even weirder, the state each particle exists in can be determined simply by whether they are observed or not. The Dillinger Escape Plan caught word of this theory, as evidenced by the tracklist on 2007’s Ire Works, and it’s fitting that an act that shifts shape so frenetically would attach the idea to their music.

Before they take to the stage, Melbourne’s Jack The Stripper blast their way through a short, discordant set. Vocalist Luke Frizon paces through the crowd with menace, howling into the microphone as the band seize and thrash behind him. The mathcore band prove to be a predictable opener for the New Jersey headliners.

On observation, The Dillinger Escape Plan swings between boundless energy and physical constraints at a manic pace. Their energy is seen first as a wave, as the serrated guitar lines of Prancer saw their way through the crowd like some unseen piano wire, then as a particle, as frontman Greg Puciato grabs the scruff of a punter’s neck, holding him almost intimately close to the shared microphone, before swinging him back on top of the crowd. Again the band presents as a wave, with guitarist Ben Weinman thrashing manically on stage, before being harshly reminded, again, of the physical. An unknown component of his stage set-up is sending harsh feedback through the speakers. “Is there a doctor in the house… a guitar doctor?” he asks, as a cluster of technicians descend on his amplifier and pedals.

Drummer Billy Rymer keeps the energy up with an impromptu solo as Weinman eventually finds an ad-hoc workaround. “This song is called Sunshine… Of Your Love,” he announces, and they honest to God play a few bars before launching into their own Sunshine The Werewolf. “Slowhand” wouldn’t describe anyone in the band, anyway. It’s a fractious show that comes close to derailing, but as the crowd swings from the rafters and fills the stage — trampling whatever miracle Weinman and co had performed on his pedal board — it's good to know that a band who have every right to exist in a state of polished, arena-filling monotony still finds inspiration in the threat of energetic catastrophe.

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