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The Dismemberment Plan Reunites for All the Right Reasons

January 31st, 2011

The Dismemberment Plan – Webster Hall – January 30, 2011

Dismemberment Plan - Webster Hall - January 30, 2011
Reunion tours can be tricky, especially when marketed around rereleases, re-issues and vinyl pressings, leaving the chance of stale, passionless shows. Luckily for 1,400 fans at Webster Hall last night, Washington D.C.’s the Dismemberment Plan had the best intentions. After having Saturday’s show to shake out the jitters of returning to a New York City stage, frontman Travis Morrison joked following the opener, “Sentimental Man,” that “nine of my coworkers are here, and I am nervous beyond belief.”

Perhaps to calm his own nerves, he and the band ripped into material from 1999’s Emergency & I (consistently the best-received songs of the night), beginning with “A Life of Possibilities.” Then Morrison paused briefly to grinningly gaze at the crowd and soak up his surroundings before moving into the blissful catch-and-release style of “The City” and the beautiful “Spider in the Snow.” Warning the audience of a coming shift in the pace of the set, Morrison asked, “Are you guys ready to freak out with me?” He picked the spastic and discordant “That’s When the Party Started” to lead into the more active part of the night, which also included an excellent highlight during the shout-back chorus of “What Do You Want Me to Say?”

Passion was on display in different ways, like how guitarist and keyboard player Jason Caddell played through a sickness that left him nearly voiceless or when Morrison screamed the final lines of a song while smashing his head against his keyboard. In response, the fans showed they hadn’t lost their passion over the past seven years either, specifically when more than 100 of them jumped onstage at the beginning of “The Ice of Boston” without needing a cue. The rest of the encore was full of these sorts of moments, like Morrison inviting a girl to tap dance during “The Dismemberment Plan Gets Rich” or the band letting the crowd sing the last few iterations of the verse in “You Are Invited.” That combination was the most fitting way to end a reunion show, confirming that it happened for all the right reasons. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Mina K