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  The Echo Lounge  
  East Atlanta, GA  
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Honestly, I think The Dismemberment Plan is one of my favorite live bands at the moment. In the times I've seen, they've always put on a tight, energetic, and altogether professional show - their skill as musicians is amazing. In short, they do not disappoint. On this Sunday night, their opening act was Enon: a band which I'd admittedly never heard, but who come highly recommended by numerous friends. So I had no fear or doubts about the show when I wandered into The Echo Lounge at a relatively early hour, expecting to have a nice wait before the music started.

I was little surprised that Enon was already playing. However, after about 15 minutes, I can't say that I wasn't sad that I'd missed part of their set. You see, the one thing I'd forgotten was that all those recommendations for Enon came from my Midwestern friends. And Midwestern Indie Rock fans in general like Midwestern Indie Rock bands, including - but not limited to - Hum, Poster Children, and Brainiac. And what I didn't know prior to walking in to The Echo Lounge was that Enon was formed by a member of Brainiac ... and it showed. While some of their songs show a melodic sensibility, they often indulge in a little too much discord and discontinuity for no real reason. Sometimes music just aches for a lack of harmony, but in Enon's case, it came off as a heavier version of Devo trying to torture some recalcitrant keyboards. I was very glad when Enon's set finished up rapidly and The Dismemberment Plan began to set up.

As they began to play, I thought about how they differ from Enon. Although some of The Plan's songs have odd sounds and abrasive elements, these somehow seem organic within the structure of the music. And the new material on which they focused only reinforced my opinion. However, on the whole, their tightness and togetherness suffered from the new songs, which were amazingly good but demonstrated that the band hadn't quite figured out how to perform them live yet. And, this being The Echo Lounge, there were sound problems, which spilled over to the monitors, clearly impacting the band. At times you could hear the bass had a slightly off rhythm that didn't match or complement the drums. Furthermore, you probably wouldn't notice it except that the mix was so drum-n-bass heavy that all problems were magnified.

In the end, how can you rate this concert? Against their best work? against the more recent stuff at the venue? or against my enjoyment level? I have to confess that I really enjoyed The Plan's Set. However, measured against their previous performances, I can't say that it was a truly good show, much less one of the best I've seen. I liked what I saw, but neither the music nor the performance engrossed me so much that I forgot all the problems. I guess that ultimately I'm just looking forward to the new recordings, and seeing The Plan again live once they're gotten all the kinks worked out.

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