|Devin Townsend @ Baltimore Soundstage 10-12-2011|
I already had tickets for this show as RQ has major love for Devin. I was psyched to see DTP as the last incarnation of Devin Townsend I saw was Strapping Young Lad in 2005. SYL were amazing and pretty much anything involving Devin's brain + music = mind blowing!
We were super lucky to score an interview for our column Side Stage in Shockwave Magazine. Devin met with us before the show at Baltimore Soundstage. Unassuming, down to earth, smart, funny and just an all-around nice bloke, he talked with us for about 20 minutes before getting told it was time to do his meet and greet. No trace of rock star attitude, easy going, straight up yet somewhat tortured, hey, it makes for great writing right? His music is his life journal and he explained to us that he writes in the moment, where he is in life, what he's doing and how he's feeling. Long gone is the crazy long hair of Strapping, wouldn't even think I was sitting talking to the same person. For our first interview the bar has been set to its highest point, Devin was just so fucking cool and easy to talk to. He even asked us what bands we played in. Just one year older than us, we talked parenting, playing music, not selling out and doing something because it's what you love, and if it's not what you love, then what's the point? Brilliant show, immediate pit and a whole new Devin onstage, alter ego, hamming it up!
Check out our video interview and more photos on the Shockwave Mag website, FB page, Side Stage FB page, Shockwave TV on YouTube, blah, blah, blah! RJ Maxwell behind the video cam.
I want to thank Nikki at Century Media Records for making this happen, she's been amazing! Also Paul, Devin's Tour Manager, Sound Wizard and fellow Brit, cheers mate and thanks for everything! Tea at my house next time!
Handing over to RQ -
First off I have to say, this is the first show we have caught at Baltimore Soundstage. I think this might be my new favorite mid size venue in Baltimore, the sound was killer and no matter where I stood I had a pretty good view of the stage.
As usual I spent the majority of the night by the front of house soundboard (I like to hear and see a show these days rather than get punched in the nuts) but I did manage to venture up front for a few tunes. I was really surprised by the set list, it was a pretty awesome retrospective of Devin's solo material. The first half of the set spanned six different albums. Texture was the key ingredient, songs moved from brutally heavy to beautifully orchestrated interludes, to ambient passages and back around to smack you in the face again. Songs from past solo releases Infinty and Ocean Machine gave way to newer, heavier material from his current incarnation, The Devin Townsend Project. As the set reached its peak, they dove into some of his most technically challenging material from the concept album Ziltoid The Omniscient (long standing Devin Townsend Band drummer Ryan Van Poederooyen absolutely tore it up...these songs are no friggin joke). And as the dust settled, Devin silenced the crowd and played what I believe to be one of his most articulate and beautiful compositions, Deep Peace, to end the set. A brief intermission, then back to the stage for one of the funniest band introductions I have ever seen, then a two song encore that culminated with about 30 people on stage singing and dancing their asses off to Bend It Like Bender. Devin took the time to shake hands and take pictures with almost every person that got on stage after they finished...pretty class act. Of course it would not be a DT show without a healthy amount of humor thrown in, anyone who bothered to pay attention to the video footage playing behind the band throughout the show would have been treated to some typical Devy imagery (my personal favorite was the Mona Lisa picture). Definitely one of the best shows I have seen this year...a rollercoaster ride through the brain of a mad scientist.
Full Set List
Truth (Devin Townsend, Infinity)
Om (Devin Townsend, Christeen + Four Demos)
Life (Devin Townsend, Ocean Machine: Biotech)
Deadhead (Devin Townsend Band, Accelerated Evolution)
Bad Devil (Devin Townsend, Infinity)
Supercrush (Devin Townsend Project, Addicted)
Kingdom (Devin Townsend, Physicist)
Stand (Devin Townsend Project, Deconstruction)
Juular (Devin Townsend Project, Deconstruction)
Colour Your World (Devin Townsend, Ziltoid The Omniscient)
Greys (Devin Townsend, Ziltoid The Omniscient)
Deep Peace (Devin Townsend, Terria)
Universe In A Ball (Devin Townsend Project, Addicted)
Bend It Like Bender (Devin Townsend Project, Addicted)