Last Saturday, the newly reformed D.C.-area band The Dismemberment Plan brought their callous but infectious rock to a packed Showbox SoDo. The crowd was about as diverse as you could get, with young kids dancing together next to older patrons. But that’s to be expected for a band formed in 1993, especially one that hasn’t played a show in Seattle for nearly ten years. Cries of “10 years is too long!” were only broken up by roars from the crowd, as the band took the stage and lurched right into their set.
The band’s stage presence seemed awkward at first, but after a blistering few songs they seemed to get into their groove, engaging the crowd more and more between songs. Lead singer/guitarist Travis Morrison asked the crowd “Who’s seen us before?” and was greeted with an almost unanimous roar, with nearly everyone’s hands stretching to the ceiling. “Of course, it wouldn’t be one of our shows without something breaking,” he said later, as guitarist/keyboardist Jason Caddell messed with keyboard wires. Once the band got everything working again, Caddell was remiss to discover he’d dropped his guitar’s slide in his beer cup. In typical rock star fashion, he plunged his fist into the plastic cup, splashing beer all over the stage, then turning to security and shrugging as if to say, “what can you do?”
Interaction with the crowd was key, and the particularly danceable drum-machine infused “You Are Invited” culminated in a massive full-crowd sing-along. Later, the band brought onstage a particularly energetic fan, instructing him to “show the crowd how to really dance.” He did, getting some of the more inspired dancing from the sometimes-lackadaisical audience, but it wasn’t until the band’s encore that things really got kicking: upwards of fifty fans were invited onstage for a raucous finale that included Morrison passing off his guitar for “The Ice of Boston,” and the hurling of several bras into the main crowd.
Everyone seemed to know the words, to every song, and as the sweaty, exhausted fans left the venue, not one of them had anything but a wide grin on their faces, proving the Dismemberment Plan will always have a place in their hearts.