After one of the strangest intros I have ever seen at a metal show, it was left to Canadian legend Devin Townsend and his band to round off the day in a way that only Devin can. Led by the eponymous character from the album Ziltoid the Omniscient, we were treated to a radio station hosted by the alien and featuring the likes of the Vengaboys, Aqua, Beyoncé and the like, which managed to get a room full of tired and pissed up metal fans moving, along with many Ziltoid hand puppets, which seemed to be the most popular merchandise of the day.
After a while the band emerged and we were treated to an outstanding set featuring tracks from right throughout Devin’s career outside of Strapping Young Lad. Opening with ‘Truth’, the next ninety minutes flew by with as much of Devin’s humour as evident as musicianship and ability. The set showed the amazing range of work that he has produced over the last fifteen years. The eclectic mix featured songs from most of his albums, with ‘Infinity’, ‘Terria’, ‘Synchestra’, ‘Ziltoid’, ‘Addicted’, ‘Deconstruction’ and ‘Ki’ all visited at some point in the set.
The rest of the band Brian Waddell (bass), Ryan Van Poederooyen (drums) and Dave Young (guitars) play an equal part in the success of this gig, not putting a foot wrong and adding to the spectacle, but it is the front man, who as always steals the show. With the riffs, the facial expressions, the between song humour, every part of this hour and a half was of the very highest quality. I got quite close to the front for this and the noise ensured that for the next couple of days everyone sounded a bit like Charlie Brown’s teacher, not that I minded.
Devin it seems can do very little wrong. The four-album project he recently completed was something of a masterpiece and the live shows he has supported them with have all been something of an event. When you realise he had recently rehearsed 44 songs with different bands for his shows in London, to come out and play a completely different set shows the length he goes to entertain. I have no issue whatsoever giving this full marks. You have to see this man live, simple as that!
Devin Townsend Project setlist:
Ziltoid The Omniscient
By Your Command
Color Your World
Photos by Sabrina Ramdoyal