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An Evening With Devin Townsend http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/bd/1e/df/An-Evening-With-Devin-Townsend-Live-Thumb-68-1559499395.jpg

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 02, 2019    
 
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An Evening With Devin Townsend - City Varieties Theatre, Leeds (UK) - 27 March 2019

This theatre in Leeds is not very big, and rather "Olde Worlde", which is not something you would associate with Devin Townsend. But this wasn't a normal show; "An Evening With", where armed with acoustic guitar, effects and microphone, Devin would strip songs down to the bone to demonstrate how they started out, with the intention that, as shows progressed, he would get better at it until, at the end, he would play all of the new album with his band, perfectly. And this format actually worked really well.


An Evening With Devin Townsend Live 1

The night was split onto two, starting with Devin tuning the guitar whilst cracking jokes with the crowd in a very relaxed manner, and flinging his hat off before starting with 'Heart Baby.' And this was how the night would continue, with Devin playing the basic songs (I say basic, but there was quite a bit of echo and other effects doing their bit to enhance), interaction with the audience (most OK, but sometimes not from this side of the curtains), some really good music which, in the environment we were, sounded so right. It was like watching a variety show with comedy, like Devin playing new song 'Why', getting it wrong, and just going "I don't care", and at the end of the song stating, "I'm trying, I'll get it right for future audiences".

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We also had a questions from the audience session, with Devin reading the questions, although I don't know how these were collected as I didn't notice any facility where these could be submitted. Quite a few were just requests for certain songs, but one member of the audience requested 'Grace' as it was his daughter's birthday, which Devin played, and which the requester recorded on his mobile phone to play back to his daughter later.


An Evening With Devin Townsend Live 2

After the twenty minute or so break, he returned with requests from the audience for songs that Devin had not rehearsed and consequently couldn't remember, starting with 'Borderlands', going into 'Shit Storm', failed, tried 'I Come Undone', failed and kept returning to 'Borderlands'. He then went way back in time to do 'In My Dreams With You' from Steve Vai's 'Sex And Religion' album back in 1993. All with good humour (after 'Bring Him Home' he tried 'Almost', failsed, said "Nope" and moved on).

Apart from showing how good a musician he is, and with the whole set-up being quieter, how strong a voice he has, it also illustrated how funny he can be. The Devin Townsend variety show. Well worth a series.

Set list

Pt 1: Heart Baby, Let It Roll, Funeral, Deadhead, Ih-Ah!, Love? Why? Hyperdrive, Terminal, Coast, Solar Winds, Thing Beyond Things, (First part of 1st Q&A), Grace, (second part of 1st Q&A)
Pt 2: Detox / Borderlands / Shitstorm / Kingdom / Two Weeks / In My Dreams With You, Bring Him Home, (2nd Q&A), Almost, (part only), Deep Peace, Divine, Life,

Review and photos by Andy Brailsford

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