Dillinger Escape Plan @ KoKo, London

with 3 Trapped Tigers and Maybeshewill
8th November 2013
Review & Photography by Jo Moolenschot

I find myself hurrying breathlessly over to Koko on account of tonight’s performance set to start earlier than usual with the first band due on stage at 6pm. I’m pleased that I rush through the doors just in time to catch a portion of Maybeshewill’s set.

The 5 piece from Leicester are treating the audience to their special brand of post-rock which encompasses bass, guitar, drums, electronic and programmed elements. It’s satisfying to see a sizeable audience already taking in Maybeshewill’s powerful performance and after the energy and commitment shown in the last few songs of their astounding set they leave me wishing I was able to go back in time to see their whole slot from the beginning and regretting my lateness.

Flyer by Jo Moolenschot
Flyer by Jo Moolenschot

3 Trapped Tigers follow not long after and the crowd lap them up happily as they provide an exciting 45 minutes of an equally interesting style of instrumental noise rock but with a much more prominent electronic edge.

Their chaotic, abrasive and choppy electronic melodies somehow bridge the gap quite nicely between the hard post rock of Maybeshewill and what we all anticipate is soon to come from the headline act. The members of 3 Trapped Tigers have the physical appearance of the proverbial “boy next door” but once positioned behind their assigned instruments seem to collectively emit the most incredible arrangement of sounds, both chaotic in nature but neatly put together, with a tremendous amount of energy. It’s refreshingly original.

After what feels like an agonising wait the crowd begins to bristle as they impatiently await the appearance of mathcore headliners The Dillinger Escape Plan. At one point the house lights prematurely darken, the crowd surges forward and one punter instantly attempts to crowdsurf such is the anticipation for their set to begin! But we are made to wait a few minutes longer until The Dillinger Escape Plan members eventually appear and break straight into opening song “Prancer”.

It would not be an overstatement to say that a certain level of anarchy instantly ensued on the bottom floor of Koko that night. I marvelled at the fact that the walls of the venue remained standing as the chaos only seemed to increase with every song.

On second number “Farewell Mona Lisa” the audience didn’t even need to be prompted to sing along with every word as they were instantly engaged and loving every moment of one of their favourite tracks.

This energy never let up for the rest of Dillingers set with lead singer Greg Puciato eventually doing away with his mysterious cowl hood with which he first appeared and pacing the stage like a caged tiger, belting out his scream vocals with such fury even I was certain I could see the veins in his forehead from where I was stood. Lead guitarist Ben Weinman swings his guitar around on his strap as he plays furiously mouthing the words to the songs whilst engaging the audience.

There’s an amazing energy emitting from the musicians on stage and the crowd are feeding off it like it’s a drug, their arms raised, constantly pushing and pulling, and I have to steady myself several times to ensure I am not completely steamrolled by the force of the nearby mosh pit.

The band plough through a great variety of songs from all their albums such as tracks “Panasonic Youth”, “Gold Teeth On A Bum”, “One of Us Is The Killer” and “Black Bubblegum” after which a pleased Puciato compliments the audience with their accompanying singing by saying “beautiful!” They covered each album well and it seemed like every track was just as intense as the one before, beautifully received by their fans who are constantly singing along, with their arms in the air and the atmosphere is liberating. It’s what these fans are here for.

The band are still playing tight as ever too, their abrasive sound clear and distinct. During “When I lose My Bet” a punter crowdsurfs to the front of the stage on his back straight into the arms of a security guard but still air punching all the way and furiously singing along to the song with all his might. It’s that kind of gig.

Both Weinman and Puciato treat the stage like a climbing structure as they mount platforms and speakers throughout songs and I get the feeling someone is about to perform some ridiculous stunt but it doesn’t happen. Until, that is, on the final song of the night.

During a thrilling encore of tracks “Come to daddy” and “43% burnt” I realise Puciato has disappeared only to see him reappear hanging from one of the balconies of Koko stage left looking expectantly down at the crowd challenging them to prepare to receive him. It’s almost terrifying to watch has he launches himself in to the crowd but they are hundreds strong and he continues to sing throughout the stunt. Weinman follows with a party trick of his own and alarmingly proceeds to destroy his guitar by slamming it repeatedly against the wall adjacent to the stage whilst standing on a high speaker. He insists on not stopping until it is snapped completely in two and then proceeds to also throw himself in to the audience who are only to pleased to catch him. It’s a fitting finale to what was a completely anarchic and electric set by Dillinger.

But throughout the excitement and total chaos of the evening, feeling like Koko could have split at the seams with all the energy it encased that night, the vibe was till joyous and happy.

Every fan was content as could be and in the best mood possible, there was no aggression in sight, with everyone only too happy to let off steam to some of their favourite music by one of the most energetic bands one can see live today.

This audience left Camden far from feeling short–changed. It goes without saying The Dillinger Escape Plan performing live are not for the faint hearted.

Those who can’t handle a healthy dose of anarchy should steer clear but for those who fancy a slice of crazy at the hands of these mathcore tyrants make sure you don’t miss the next opportunity to see them live. You will not be disappointed.


1. Prancer
2. Farewell, Mona Lisa
3. Milk Lizard
4. Panasonic Youth
5. Room Full of Eyes
6. Black Bubblegum
7. Fix Your Face
8. Gold Teeth on a Bum
9. Hero of the Soviet Union
10. Nothing’s Funny
11. One of Us Is the Killer
12. Crossburner
13. Dead as History
14. Good Neighbor
15. When I Lost My Bet

16. Come to Daddy, (Aphex Twin cover)
17. 43% Burnt