Dillinger Escape Plan at First Avenue, 4/12/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Erik Hess

Dillinger Escape Plan
with Trash Talk, Retox, and Shining
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dillinger Escape Plan haven't played Minneapolis in some time, but their return made a huge impact. With excellent openers Trash Talk, Retox, and Shining rounding out a solid bill, it was an overall excellent night of experimental punk and metal at First Avenue.

See also:
Slideshow: Dillinger Escape Plan cause a frenzy at First Avenue

Shining out of Norway played as the audience grew and warmed themselves up for what would become a lot of movement. There were the beginnings of some headbanging initially, but when lead singer and songwriter Jørgen Munkeby set the guitar down to begin his saxophone solo, the vibe caught everyone. Alongside the imminent-death-in-a-Nintendo-game synth, the sax took the group's black metal into circle-pit jazz territory.

Waltzing between genre lines, extended noise solos were equal parts Sabbath and free-form improvisation, and the avant-garde approach was met with approval. Doom stomps led way to spastic freakouts and overlong solos, and the closing song, a cover of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man," featured an impressive number of false endings that managed to prod the audience into excitement.

Photo by Erik Hess

Retox took the stage shortly afterwards, a less avant-garde hardcore group that specifically encouraged more movement. When vocalist Justin Pearson climbed past the barrier into the crowd ("Are you guys as bored as we are?" he asked as security began to gather), he sparked the already excited floor to begin circling up. Fast, heavy, and screamy, the songs satiated the people with good aggression-release music.

As the rest of the band slumped over their instruments, the wailing guitar drone in the middle of the set introducing "Boredom Is Counter-Revolutionary" raised the tension in the room and got massive cheers, once the drummer stopped spitting on the guitarist and came in with his giant fills. Keeping it tight and punchy, Retox pulled off a powerful set.

There seemed to be a large number of Trash Talk fans in the audience, possibly anticipating another interactive set like their last Mainroom appearance opening for Danny Brown and Action Bronson. There is an art to the circle pit, and frontman Lee Spielman is a master, knowing exactly how to guide crowds into true abandon. He spent most of the set on the floor, conducting the mosh pit with shouted commands between songs. The crunchy powerviolence would've pushed the people to movement either way, but Spielman toyed with the audience in interesting ways, like getting everyone to sit down at one point.

Photos by Erik Hess

The drive of the song was clearly agitating people to want to resume punching each other, but only once the drums dropped after a solo were they given permission to erupt. Trash Talk made the whole room amplify as they powered through the hybridized hardcore, and a number of songs came from next month's record on Odd Future Records snuck into the mix.

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