So what could we expect from the mad musical mind of Devin Townsend tonight on October 27th? To be honest nothing prepared me for the truly aural onslaught of this 3 hour extravaganza with accompanying Devin inspired craziness.
This was Devin's career to date, portrayed on a stage, performed by actors, dancers and a plethora of change over's with the visual stimulus of a thousand magic mushrooms. Three screens projected the image of our narrator Steve Vai, who was telling the story of 'Harold' a protagonist portrayed on stage by actor Danny Cooksey. As Devin puts it perfectly "a convoluted dream, which you all participate in because you all bought tickets". This story is about Harold's various issues he has with death, sex and religion (pretty much all of us have the same issues) however ,tonight for one night only, Devin Townsend is going to tell Harold's story through his extensive back catalogue of music….without the use of mind-altering drugs.
A massive choir takes to the stage and the appearance of Anneke van Giersbergen for 'True North' sends a wave of applause through this unique, enchanting venue. A mass of ape suits invaded the stage for 'Planet Of The Apes', the venue heating up as the crowd got wilder. The appearance of Ziltoid got the reaction you expected; however the appearance of Ziltoids wife and a 6ft green alien vagina impregnated by a 6ft penis just stunned the place. With pole dancers, ribbon climbers, Metal Hammers Dom Lawson attacking the vocals for 'Planet Smasher' it was all we expected and more, sprinkled with fire and sparks. A quick break saw the return for a toned down set starter with' Ih-Ah' however little did we know what was in store. Enter the talking skull! Berating Devin for ignoring his true past, it wasn't until the appearance of Jed Simon did the crowd realize what was about to happen. Re-visiting his Strapping Young Lad days we got 'Detox' & 'Love' which got the greatest cheers of the night. Ending with the wonderfully triumphant 'Grace' and its over the top majesty, the room was filled with tickertape. An encore of 'Little Pig' was belted out after Devin had graciously thanked all in attendance for making it possible. As the choir donned lumberjack shirts and we witnessed bearded women, midgets and aliens the magnitude of what we just saw came crashing down on us.
The entire gig was filmed for a future DVD/BLURAY release, where does Devin go from here? I'm sure whatever he does will have to be something special to top tonight's truly epic extravaganza. Devin Townsend, truly an artist of our generation from another dimention.
2. True North
4.Planet of the Apes
12. Colour Your World
16. Where We Belong
18.Bend It Like Bender!
23. Wild Colonial Boy
Picture credit: Ashley Maille (with thanks to Sarah Lees of Century Media)