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The Dillinger Escape Plan @ Union Transfer.

November 17, 2016


Text and images by Rick Kauffman.

All good things must come to an end.

While not the last and final show of their storied careers, The Dillinger Escape Plan said goodbye to Philadelphia Tuesday at Union Transfer.

After years of swelling the walls of the First Unitarian Church, or scaling the speaker stacks at the Electric Factory, earlier this year stomping all over Kung Fu Necktie, the fire-breathing, shit-slinging, panic-inducing antics are coming to a close.

TDEP set tone in their live set that has gone uncompromised — if you weren’t for one moment frightened for the safety of you or others, they weren’t trying hard enough.

It was a spectacle through and through. You went to see what antics they’d pull next. And they never disappointed.

Yet, here was moment during The Dillinger Escape Plan’s final set in Philadelphia when they performed ‘Mouth of Ghosts,’ the final track on the band’s 2007 release Ire Works, that served as a capstone to their vast and eclectic library of songs over 20 years as a band.

Rather than the frantic, incomprehensive shredding from guitarist Ben Weinman, he instead ditched the axe for a set of keys and played the melodic and wistful piano-driven tune that slow-builds to a salsa-esque crescendo. For all the years that the math-metal giants churned out vicious, heavy-as-fuck technical riffs, it seemed fitting they would wind down possibly their final show in Philadelphia with some of the more diverse music they’ve written as a band.

‘Low Feels Blvd’ off their sixth, most recent, and maybe final full-length, Dissociation, breaks into bluesy, jazz riffs with some prog-rock vibes — a perfect fit for their genre-spanning set.

And of course they played the classics. Even ‘Sugar Coated Sour’ got a whirl.

Billed as their farewell tour, singer Greg Puciato said TDEP wanted to end on a high note — butDissociation proves not that the band had any plan to slow down.

They’re the type of group that their recorded albums speak for themselves, filled with songs that influenced an entire subgenre of music. Some songs peaked into the mainstream, while always staying true to the underground.

Supported by Cult Leader, Car Bomb and O’Brother, the final show may have been tame to Dillinger’s standards set by years of absolute chaos, but the nostalgia of seeing ‘43% Burnt’ played one last time while Weinman chugged across the heads of fans will leave a lasting impression.

That fear one feels at a Dillinger show is what legends are made of, and those memories, some of the best one walks away from — truly wowed — won’t ever fade.

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