Written by Samuel Barker
Dec 06, 2003 at 08:00 PM
ImageAfter a stint on Lollapalooza and a publicized divorce between their lead vocalist/guitarist Brody Dalle and her husband, Rancid vocalist/guitarist Tim Armstrong, The Distillers have stayed busy on the road. Perhaps to outrun personal demons, but more than likely to spread the word about their latest release, Coral Fang, The Distillers have mixed in tours with The Bronx and Queens of the Stone Age, as well as these headlining gigs, which began with a stint in Europe.An audience made up mostly of adolescent females had packed themselves into the Engine Room waiting for a night of mischievious rock n’ roll led by their current idol, Dalle. Gone from the band was the tattered instruments and speed punk vibes they displayed on the 2001 Warped Tour, now, having matured as songwriters, The Distillers had slowed their speeds, but lost none of the attitude and impact.

Rather than taking the audience through a 40-minute sprint, the band paced themselves interspersing faster tracks from their older albums with the heavier, more relaxed songs from Coral Fang. It was this lack of full out aggression that allowed the audience to keep with Dalle and company the entire show.

Opening the gate with the charge of Die on a Rope, The Distillers whipped the audience into a frenzy quickly before laying back with slower songs like The Gallow Is God.

Bassist Ryan Sinn illustrated the pace best as he took the stage in a black hoodie to protect himself from the cold winter’s night that could even be felt in the packed club. As the night went on, Sinn shed the hood, then unzipped, then shed the hoodie to finish the set in his t-shirt. Rather than burning through, the band took paced the sounds and gave the audience well over an hour of music.

While their shows are paced well, their touring schedule is not. After this tour winds up, The Distiller will be on their way back to Australia, which will be a triumphant homecoming for Dalle with her major label debut and months of success under her belt when she steps back onto her home turf.

Opening the show was The Explosion. For what they were, the band entertained and got a few kids to go completely insane. Not much different than many other punk bands on the road today, The Explosion tore through a short set filled with short songs. Plenty of energy, sparse chord usage and a talkative, wild singer, this band has what it needs to stay around the scene for a while.