Oct 12, 2011

Devin Townsend - Soundstage

By Bob Suehs


October 12, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland


DEVIN TOWNSEND SET LIST:  Truth, Om, Life, Deadhead, Bad Devil, Supercrush, Kingdom, Stand, Juular, Colour Your World, Greys, Deep Peace, Universe in a Ball, Bender

Interesting set up to this review...when I tried to cover Devin Townsend's show last year I sadly never made it to the venue because I was in a near fatal car accident...flash forward a year later & here you go, a Devin Townsend show review minus the tragic totalling of my old car! Also, if you're wondering why I posted a pic of Dev's crotch in this review, while I was taking pics he got infront of me & posed in that manner for my camera, so that shot is Dev's joke!


Devin Townsend is a musical genius!

Sorry, I had to open this review with that statement because the man is very underrated in the rock world and he's consistently released record after record & managed to maintain a recording career that's allowed him to make music that's as quirky as the man himself!

Devin Townsend's music is a mix of metal, moods, feelings of both good & bad, & if you ever see Devin's live show his facial expressions are a good representation of what his music is like...it's all over the place & the only key factor is a sense of humor is what keeps it all loose & fun!

This show started off rather early & most people miss local openers Rome Apart who played a solid, short & to the point set.

The Ocean were direct support for Devin & while I'd heard the bands name many times over the past year or so this was my first exposure to the bands music.

The Ocean are best explained as a mix of The Dillinger Escape Plan with pieces of Lamb of God & The Refused all mixed in for good measure.

The Ocean's onstage presence was part of what made their music work...they are full o' energy, just a bit violent at times & there's a really atmospheric quality to their material that makes it trippy at times as well.

The Ocean clearly had samples playing throughout their entire set & at times it was hard to tell where the samples & "tracks" under the music were live or pre-recorded simply because the band used strobe lighting a good amount during their set which made the 5 guys onstage look like a movie that faded in & out...the strobe lights which were all blue & really made the bands name The Ocean seem relevant to their stage show as well.

The crowd in attendance was just around 150 I'd guess & when The Ocean's singer tried to stage dive into the crowd he sadly hit the floor at one point because there just wasn't enough bodies to properly crowd surfer but I give the band an E for effort because they did try to get the crowd going, the thing was, there wasn't enough bodies for that activity!

When The Ocean were finished with their set the stage was cleared & Devin Townsend's gear was set up rather quickly & directly behind the bands drum kit was a movie screen which showed random clips & I'd highly advise you to watch the screen from time to time if you see Devin's current tour because alot o' the images are quit funny.....one one point a Megadeth record cover was altered to say "Megadev" & before Dev took the stage there was a funny movie playing that led directly to the band taking the stage!

Devin's backing band were solid players that laid down the foundation for Devin to do what he does best...he led the crowd in a flurry of weird rants, interesting facial expressions & unique musicianship.

I'm not totally sure where the sampled parts began nor ended in Dev's set because it was clear that there were "Tracks" they played during certain points of the set and it was interesting how Devin literally dissected all aspects of the heavy metal rock show while performing what basically WAS a heavy metal show!

"Balls-timore" was what he referred to the city as & after the show was done Devin came out & met fans...this was where I caught a funny joke he told to a fan BUT the fan didn't "get" the joke. Devin asked one fan where he was from & the guy said, "Washington, DC" & Devin goes, "How's the weather there?" & the guy looked slightly confused as he said, "It's ok, it was raining there." & Devin replied, "Just like here, huh?" & he turned to me & smiled....Devin was clearly messing with the guy because Washington, DC & Baltimore are only a small distance apart & the weather is generally the same in both areas...then Devin went into how he had brought a parka on tour with him & had been dying to wear it BUT the weather wasn't cooperating!

As a whole, this show was fun, the bands sounded great, it was a fun evening & the only odd thing was how early it ended...10:30 PM sharp & it's interesting to note that during the last song of the night Devin allowed ANYONE in the crowd who was willing to get onstage & dance & sing with the band!