The Devin Townsend Project
Openers: Today I Caught the Plague, Remain, Sixes & Sevens
Venue: The Opera House, Toronto, Ontario
I’ve been a fan of the Dev’ for a really long time now, longer than most people I run in to, but is the first time I’ve ever bothered to go see him live. My only previous exposure to his live shows were Strapping Young Lads ‘No Sleep ‘Till Bedtime’ live album and a live bootleg CD he released through his website about ten years ago. The live SYL album was good enough even though it was heavily studio enhanced but I found the vocal performance on the live bootleg pretty bad so I avoided going to see him live for all these years for fear of being disappointed. That, coupled with the fact that there’s been so much Devy-stroking on the internet these days when I feel some of the stuff he’s been releasing the last few years hasn’t been his best.
But as I’ve stated on a few previous reviews; I’ll often make exceptions for shows that land on weekends. And it looks like every night he’s been changing up his set so it wasn’t like I’d be sitting at this show knowing what to expect next. He’s still playing a lot from my favorite era of his (Ocean Machine) and when I saw him play a three song encore from the Punky Bruster album on another post last month I knew I should check it out, so here we go.
I got to the venue late as usual (I didn’t feel like standing outside in line in the -5 ‘C) . It didn’t help, the venue was fucking cold, which was actually a nice change from being at so many concerts where there’s to many people packing into to small a place and you melt. I’d say the Opera House was 3/4 full. I missed Sixes & Sevens and showed up when Remain were halfway through their set. They were okay, they reminded me of a poor mans Amon Amarth. Today I Caught the Plague were tight musically and really passionate about what they’re doing, but they sucked. They were a poor mans Mars Volta.
After a very long 45 minute set change where it sounded like they were having some issues with the drums and everything else Devin and the band came on. Things started out kinda slow, the sound was still a little off, and Devins guitar was too low for the whole show. But things woke up with Earth Day
. The set was pretty good and Devin seemed to be having a good time despite saying numerous times that he was having an off day. The only low points were really the Ki songs which were just boring live, and Deep Peace
is a good song but not a very good closer. He played pretty much something from all his solo albums except Physicist, which was fine since that wasn’t the best album. I could go on and on about what I’d have rather he played but I’ll be happy with what I got. The set-list last week didn’t even get a song from Synchestra. He played for a long fucking time too, close to two hours!
2. Om (segment)
4. By You Command
6. Earth Day
7. Bad Devil
14. Heaven Send
16. Color Your World
17. The Greys
18. Deep Peace
After the show I stood around for almost an hour and got a photo with him that I'd like to post but can't figure out how to. He seemed like a really nice guy but I could tell he was tired and wanted to get some sleep so I didn’t waste too much of his time.
All in all it was a decent show. I expected more and was a little disappointed but that was more bad sound than anything. Some better openers would’ve helped and maybe gotten me to show up earlier.