Friday, March 11, 2011

The Dismemberment Plan Confront The Ice of Boston

I thought I would write a few words about some of my favorite concerts so far in 2011. The first one of significance is The Dismemberment Plan on January 28 at Paradise Rock Club. The Dismemberment Plan has long been a favorite of mine and I was not about to miss the rare opportunity to see them live on their reunion tour when it stopped in Boston. The show had long been sold out but I was determined to get tickets. This meant spending the entire week frantically searching for tickets on craigslist that fit my modest budget. It was tough going but I found someone that wasn’t trying to capitalize on the high demand and just wanted to sell the tickets to a fan for face value. I made the voyage to pick up the tickets mid day and gratefully exchanged the cash for tickets for myself and a friend. The anticipation for the show was almost unbearable for the rest of the day.

The Dismemberment Plan has always been a favorite of mine and I hold all of their albums - especially Emergency & I - in high regards. I featured the aforementioned album awhile back on Stereo Typing as the album of the day and the identifiable lyrics and diverse songwriting make it so that the record will never wear thin. Obviously, I had sky high expectations for finally being able to see them after years of hearing about their energetic and powerful performances, but I was not let down in the least. The most amazing part of their performance was how they hadn’t lost a step over the years. They performed like a band who hadn’t had any downtime.

The energy never stopped throughout their entire set. The band seemed like they were having a blast and kept a great rapport throughout the night joking with the audience. Watching them weave funky rhythms, angular guitar riffs, and frenzied vocals was mesmerizing and had the crowd perpetually moving. The highlight for me was the middle of the set where they performed my two favorite songs, “Time Bomb” and “What Do You Want Me to Say?”, one into another. It was also amazing to hear them play the frantic “Girl O’ Clock” which I was not expecting to hear. It was actually funny that singer Travis Morrison was able to replicate the impossibly fast vocal lines from the song live on stage.

The band ended the regular set by playing “Ok, Joke’s Over” into a cover of Das Rascist’s “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” which ended in Morrison’s demented cries that he needed a Chick-fil-A. The band played an encore including fan favorite “The Ice of Boston” with it’s unforgettable chorus of “The ice of Boston is muddy / And reflects no light, in day or night / And I slip on it every time.” This was especially pertinent since Boston was engulfed by walls of snow at the time and I’ll be damned if I didn’t slip on some muddy ice several times that week. During the song, the band invited everyone on stage and the venue looked like one big party. Once the stage cleared off the group continued with “That’s When the Party Started” and “Spider in the Snow”, a personal favorite. The night came to a close with “Back and Forth” and it was evident that this was a concert that was going to be hard to top in 2011. Videos and setlist for the show are below.

"A Life of Possibilities"

"The City"

"I Love a Magician"

"Ok, Joke's Over (& Das Racist)"


1. The Face of the Earth
2. A Life of Possibilities
3. Following Through
4. You Are Invited
5. Sentimental Man
6. The City
7. The First Anniversary of Your Last Phone Call
8. Time Bomb
9. What Do You Want Me to Say?
10. Come Home
11. The Dismemberment Plan Gets Rich
12. Gyroscope
13. If I Don't Write
14. Girl O' Clock
15. I Love a Magician
16. Ellen and Ben
17. Do the Standing Still
18. OK, Joke's Over
19. The Ice of Boston
20. That's When the Party Started
21. Spider in the Snow
22. Back and Forth

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