To quote the great man himself “While we all have lots of bands who influence still… we all rip off Meshuggah!”
Opening up the night in a typical bat shit way are Norwegian jazz metal pioneers Shining, whose infectious grooves and saxophone overtones create a great vibe whilst being a strange mix that intrigues and mesmerizes the audience. The highlight of their set was a bizarre jam session featuring members of both the Project and Periphery involved in a mass jazz off, including the extraordinary sight of Devin Townsend playing a Bassoon.
Up next are tech metal overlords Periphery who are so precise you could set a metronome by the headbanging alone. Playing a lot off their last double album “Juggernaut: Alpha & Omega”, the six piece rattle through their set of djent at its highest quality, whilst performing in what can only be described as an epileptics worst nightmare. The likes of ‘Graveless’ and ‘Hell Below’ provide riffs more down tuned than the entire 90’s output of Korn. Add that to the rest of the band perform virtuously as is humanly possible to display an incredible amount of musical ability and put the most progressive rock bands to shame. Yes, it does sound a lot like Meshuggah. Yes, there is an awful lot of faffing around in between riffs and yes, it is at its heart, tech wankery of the highest order. But if you see Periphery in the live environment and you aren’t impressed by the sheer weight of the sound then you may have some differing tastes to me.
After a video, that I am 99% sure makes perfect sense if you are on the contents of Hunter S Thompson’s briefcase, involving Ziltoid comes The Devin Townsend Project in what can only describe as impeccable form. In a career spanning set from the start of Devin‘s solo career to the very latest double album “Sky Blue/Z2” Devin shows every aspect of his career. The beauty ballad nature of ‘In Ah’, the ferocious brutality of ‘Namaste’ to the intense yet melodic charm of ‘Night’. Charming and hilarious as ever on the mic, Devin sways through a set that though serving primarily as a warm up to “Ziltoid: The Musical” (no matter how many times you write that it never becomes less awesome) and becomes a stunning show of the immense back catalogue that Devin has amassed over the years and shows the amount of incredible music created by him over the years.
Overall, what can you say other than it’s Devin, what more can you say.
9. March of the Poozers
10. A New Reign
11. Lucky Animals
Photos by Sabrina Ramdoyal.