The Plea for Peace: Take Action Tour rolled through town this past week, treating Philadelphia to a hearty sampling of mildly popular metal and hardcore sounds.
The tour is a rollicking punked-out annual benefit tour for the National Hopeline Network (1-800-SUICIDE), and judging by the turnout at the Electric Factory Sept. 19, the Hopeline will be doing just fine this year.
In what appears to be a resurfacing trend in live music, The Plea for Peace is a package show.
Florida’s Poison The Well headlined this year’s event.
The marquee also included New Jersey-based math metal act Dillinger Escape Plan, Chris Carabba’s old chums Further Seems Forever, Avenged Sevenfold and Eighteen Visions.
In a display of punctuality not often found in the hard rock world, the show kicked off promptly at 7:30 p.m., with a performance by newcomers Avenged Sevenfold.
The band excited the crowd with their high-energy guitar attack.
The evening started strong, but then Eighteen Visions took the stage.
The Orange County natives delivered a completely halfhearted, undeniably terrible performance.
They sounded horrendous. While it appeared they were breathing at one point, the lack of energy was so obvious it almost felt like a black hole had engulfed the entire Electric Factory.
Their lame attempt at self-conscious irony was putting a dummy onstage with a guitar around its neck.
Presumably, the mannequin symbolized a recently departed second guitar player.
To point out the statue’s connection to the other lifeless meandering on stage would belabor the obvious.
Following Eighteen Visions was the now famously abandoned Further Seems Forever.
The addition of FSF on this tour seemed rather curious. On past tours, The Plea for Peace either assembled bands with almost identical sounds or gathered a purposefully eclectic mix of artists.
This year, Further Seems Forever was the “odd man out,” favoring a more mellow edge.
The band is excellent, but they were unmistakably misplaced on the bill.
Some of their lyrics also have Christian allusions, which is obviously not your typical “bang your head,” tomfoolery.
As could be imagined, FSF went over about as well as Judas Priest opening up for the Second Coming.
After a few missteps and backtracks, Dillinger Escape Plan, one of those odd bands that remains popular even between releases, stormed the stage and stole the show.
Not only was the performance tight and deafening, Dilliger added in theatrics and a stage show not often found in this genre.
The band worked the crowd into an anticipatory frenzy that no other act could match for the remainder of the evening.
Poison The Well closed the show, but they seemed to struggle with the responsibility of headlining.
There has been quite a buzz around their fourth full length CD, You Come Before You, but they just don’t have the chops to close a show.
Hopefully, Dillinger’s sonic and visual assault taught them a thing or two about pleasing a crowd.
Chuck DelRoss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.