The Dillinger Escape Plan @ The Metro Theatre, Sydney, May 21, 2010

An evening filled of technicality, southern fried goodness and pure insanity, you say? Sydney's Metro Theatre got that and more as well, and was being torn a new one to boot.

Upon walking into the Metro, I was immediately reminded of the Behemoth/Job For A Cowboy show held there quite recently due to the diversity in the crowd (due to both gigs being all ages), which ranged from the young under-18s who looked like they were let out of the cage for a night dressed in their trendy wares, all the way to the older metalhead in their proudly worn t-shirt. But that said, regardless of age, there was a good vibe in the air as most of the crowd looked quite enthusiastic and ready to enjoy some music.

A decent crowd started to fill the floor in front of stage and one of the most hyped acts of recent times, Washington DC's Periphery hit the stage to quite a reception. You could see how blown away the band members were just before they slammed into their first song. Having heard them on CD, I was not sure how their music would go down live as, personally, I felt their music was technical for the sake of being technical, and they definitely wore their influences on their sleeves (Meshuggah). On the stage however, their music seemed to come alive and the band were insanely tight without their huge smiles ever leaving their faces while they were headbanging away. Their seven string riffage sounded nice and thick, but I personally thought having three guitarists on stage was a bit overkill. The job could have been taken care of by two, but lead guitarist and the musical force beind Periphery, Misha "Bulb" Mansoor blew me away with his amazing skills on the fretboard at lightning speeds, especially in the epic closing track The Walk, which got the floor moving at an insane pace and sent many of their rabid fanbase away satisfied.

Following Periphery's technical onslaught and a brief change-over, the band that stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb between the insanity and technicality -  the southern fried metalcore of Alabama's own Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster hit the Metro's stage. Starting with a brief jam, frontman Dallas Taylor strolled out onto the stage and the band slammed into a track of their latest release, III.  Throughout the entirety of their set, my foot was tapping and my head started to go up and down driven by the catchy songs and thick grooves emanating from the stage. It sounded like a hybrid of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Underoath. Their material switches gears from a southern groove (with the odd bit of slide guitar thrown in Step Up (I'm On It) for good measure) to what could be best described as southern-tinged breakdowns. It could have been a disaster of a musical mashup, but Maylene pull it off and proudly rock out while doing it. It further solidified me as a fan of their music.

The anticipation in the air could not have been any higher for the headliners, with many wondering what madness was going to ensue. Following the obligatory introduction of ominous booming bass beats, bolstered by a smoke machine, The Dillinger Escape Plan tread the stage and hammered right into the musical insanity that is Panasonic Youth. If you have not had the privilege of witnessing DEP live, the band are completely insane on stage and tend to not stay in one spot while delivering their own brand of musical madness. Frontman Greg Puciato is like a ball of energy that could put the Energizer bunny to shame, by bolting across the stage, diving into the pit with their hardcore fanbase, climbing the PA stack, and even climbing the lighting truss like a monkey. I could see the worried looks on the security guards' faces at times, which was quite entertaining. However, as crazy as DEP were, the crowd were equally as insane and the floor looked like a tornado of human bodies smashing into each other without relenting.

The setlist was a good mixture of their catalogue, ranging from old school including 43% Burnt, When Good Dogs Do Bad Things, Destro's Secret, Sugar Coated Sour to the later era material of Sunshine The Werewolf, Fix Your Face, Black Bubblegum. Their latest effort, Option Paralysis was also well represented in Farewell, Mona Lisa, the insanely hooky Gold Teeth On A Bum, Room Full Of Eyes and the ambient Widower in which guitarist Ben Weinman traded his guitar for keyboards.

During the closer 43% Burnt, the band went completely insane and tore the stage apart by wrecking drum kits, and throwing anything that wasn't nailed down in every direction, including, at times, each other. It was quite a sight and proved why The Dillinger Escape Plan are lauded and are well loved as they are.