Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dillinger Four / Paint it Black - 7.11.08

Starlight Ballroom

I had big plans for this evening. Months before the show was announced, I ordered tickets for the Hot Water Music tour at the Troc. When this show was announced, I was facing a big problem. D4?? Hot Water Music?? How can they play two different shows and how can I see both? I decided to go to the D4 show, then run down the street to Hot Water as soon as they were done. To safeguard against missing too much of HWM, I also ordered tickets for the Hot Water show in New York City the next night. It'd be a busy schedule, but I thought it would work.

I thought wrong. Hot Water and D4 were both scheduled to play at the same time at their respective venues. So, knowing that I would see HWM the next day, I decided to stay for all of Dillinger Four. And I'm glad I did.

Heather and I got there pretty late so we wouldn't see too many of the terrible openings bands, but no such luck. Team Robespierre were just starting and were nothing I was interested in. I left to get something to eat and drink and ended up missing Monotonix, the only opener I was really interested in. Fuck. Either way, I heard they were great and put on a hell of a live show. I'll have to check these crazy Israelis out the next time they hit Philly. Matt and Kim were next, and I'm not sure what all the hipsters are losing their minds for, because all it did was inspire me and my friends to head on outside and wait a bit.

"MORE STAGE DIVES!" When Paint it Black started, the place went nuts. From the beginning of "Gravity Wins," bodies were flying everywhere. Their energy level was through the roof, which was good, and made up for the terrible sound. Josh's amp started the show by buzzing and sounding like it was about to blow any second, and eventually Andy's amp started to go (during "White Kids Dying of Hunger," a pretty bass driven song). Either way, they played a lot of their usual set, and ended with "Memorial Day," "Atticus Finch" and "Shell Game Redux," all of which had monstrous sing-a-longs and stage dives. I've seen this band at least six or seven times this year, and they have yet to disappoint (although I would have loved to hear "Goliath"!).

D! 4! Dillinger Four is easily one of the top punk bands playing right now, if not the best. However, as Paddy noted as they started, they've done Philadelphia wrong. Their history in Philly has been sketchy at best, with the last show here being cut short due to Paddy being sick as hell and spending the entire set vomiting into a trash can. So, they promised to make up for it by playing a great set this time, and they certainly did. From the opening of "Let Them Eat Thomas Paine" to then ending of "Putting the F Back in Art," they were fun, the tightest I've seen them, and kids were loving it. They traded vocals across the stage and all of their voices sounded good, kids were stage diving everywhere, and of course, the on-stage banter was priceless. Highlights from the banter included Paddy talking about how YouTube reminds everyone how fat they've gotten, why God probably doesn't exist, but maybe he does since he killed Jesse Helms last week, Dan Yemin and Krishna, how D4 is selling out ("we're too fat to ride bikes and none of us even own record players any more"), and a discussion on "fuck bike fags" (or three things Paddy loves). The whole set was entertaining, as expected, even though he didn't get naked (which people asked for).

I tried to remember all of the songs they played, but I'm sure I missed some, and hell, with the amount of D4 I've been listening to lately, I'm probably adding some that they didn't, but they definitely played a great mix of songs from all three proper LPs. Some of the list included: "Who Didn't Kill Bambi?", "Get Your Study Hall Outta My Recess," "Maximum Piss n' Vinegar," "Noble Stabbings," "A Floater Left With Pleasure...," "Folk Song," "OKFMDOA," "Superpowers Enable Me to Blend In With Machinery," "Doublewhiskeycokenoice," "Mosh For Jesus," and I'm sure others I'm forgetting off the top of my head.

I left before the Circle Jerks, and I'm ok with that decision. From what I hear, a lot of other people did to, but supposedly they played close to 30 songs. Part of me would like to see them, solely for the story, but at the same time, no punk band can follow D4, especially 20+ years after their prime. Before the show, my friend Phil said that part of D4's allure was how rare it was to see them, but I'll definitely be going to see them in October at the Troc, as well as at Fest. Best punk band playing right now.

All photos by Aaron Weber. Don't steal them without asking him.

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