Sunday, July 20th, 2003
When bands break up, they should always do it like The Dismemberment Plan. After deciding to call it quits earlier this year, they first decide to undertake one final farewell tour that’s taken them all over North American and soon to Japan. Tonight marked their final show in the 416 area code… and the 905, probably 519 and 613 as well, but I digress. I first saw The Plan back on the Death & Dismemberment tour, and went mainly to see Death Cab. My knowledge of the Plan extended about as far as “The Ice Of Boston”, which was amusing to me and I had pretty much written them off as a quirky joke band, but I left that show a believer. The Plan put on one of the most fantastic live shows I’d ever seen, quite literally leaving me slack-jawed. A shame that my second time seeing them play would also be the last, but I figured it’d be a helluva farewell party.
The Rockit club was sold out and the inadequacy of the air conditioning and ventilation very much evident. The stench of rock’n’roll was in full effect by the time the headliners took the stage, and immediately tore into “Gyroscope”, and after the opening three songs they opened the rest of the set up to requests. The declined to play only one or two songs from their debut “!”, but were up to the task for everything else thrown their way. It’s amazing to me that they have so much complex material at instant recall like that, but I guess that’s part of the job description for a professional musician (which is why I had better not quit my day job). The Plan consists of some of the best musicians I’ve ever seen on the indie rock circuit – Joe Easley in particular is one of the most insane drummers around – mad skills, as they say – and Travis Morrison is easily one of the best frontmen a band ever had. Maniacal, charismatic and absurdly good at what he does, one can only hope that his solo output will bring his wacky-ass self back here to further entertain the masses.
And to the frat house guys in the back with the tank tops and baseball caps (the “Chewbaccas”, as Travis put it), who spent the whole night hollering for “Ice Of Boston” between whoops of “whoo!” and “yeah!” – did you really think that they wouldn’t play it? Or that your constant bellowing had anything to do with it? Dumbasses.
Neanderthals notwithstanding, the Dismemberment Plan farewell tour was everything one could have hoped for. Anytime you stumble into the night sweaty, dehydrated and all around gross but still feeling good, someone did something right. Cheers.