Sad plans of ‘Dismemberment’

Matt Siblo

The Dismemberment Plan have been through a lot in their 10-year span as a band, certainly more than most. The band who started from very humble Washington beginnings, later went on to be one of the biggest indie band out of the city. The band was one of the first to show jaded scensters and musical novices alike that it was okay to uncross those starched arms and get down for a couple of hours. The same group who was once “Terrified,” “got rich” and even “changed” can now be in a different classification altogether: non-existent.

It was during last spring that the Dismemberment Plan announced on their website that they’d soon be breaking up. When word of this spread, a few friends and I ran to see them on at what seemed to be one of their last shows at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. The band has always been an amazing live force, which made me forget all about the hours spent coming and going from Pensylvania to New York in one night. Later that month, a friend of mine had talked to the D-Plan (as they are lovingly called) and they had agreed to play a show at Haverford College. I was excited at the prospect of one of the last Dismemberment Plan shows being so close to home. Boy, was I mistaken.

Soon there after, the Dismemberment Plan announced a “One Last Slice” farewell tour, thanking their numerous fans from all around the country. The band’s final show was then to be scheduled at Ft. Reno in Washington D.C. in early August. This show, however, due to severe thunderstorms was very poorly attended, and the band didn’t feel that the show lived up to expectations of a last performance. The Dismemberment Plan quite simply refused to come apart.

Finally, on Sept. 1 at the 9:30 club in the Washington D.C., The Dismemberment Plan was set to play their “last” last show. It was around 9:45 p.m. that the band would step onto the stage for the last time ever, although with this crew, who knows? There’s something about witnessing a band’s last show that makes what happens seem very permanent, very important. I suppose if you put the situation in perspective it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense. The Dismemberment Plan were just a rock and roll band that put out a couple of albums and played shows here and there for a decade or so. After they leave the stage of the 9:30 club, many more just like them would come and play just as hard.

But it’s not quite that simple. When the band started the set, opening with “Rusty” the last song off their first album entitled “!”, it had seemed as if things had come full circle for the band. Travis Morrison, the lead singer acknowledged the band’s beginnings during the set, reminiscing fondly about the different dives and coffee houses that they used to play at before all “the cool people” started showing up. And while some of those dreaded, sneering “cool people” were intermingled throughout the capacity crowd, it didn’t show. The vibe was steady and exciting throughout the 23 song set with highlights including “the Dismemberment Plan gets rich,” “You are Invited” and what would seem to be the final dance party for “Ice of Boston.”

Bands will come and go, but few that ever play on the 9:30 stage will ever be able to capture the laid back energy that the Dismemberment Plan put forth with every show they played. Whether it be Travis’ sarcastic in-between song quips or the phenomenal drumming of Joe Easely, the band will be remembered for their ability to captivate audiences with their quirky onstage banter or even more importantly, the unique music they were able to give to the world. The Dismemberment Plan may have never received the national acclaim that many would have hoped for them, but on September 1st the band gave it’s final performance to the people that will remember and appreciate it the most; the fans and city that loved and supported them since day one.