Home > News & Reviews > Devin Townsend Project

The Devin Townsend Project - O2 Academy, Bristol - March 29 2015 (Live Review)

Tuesday, 31 March 2015 Written by Alec Chillingworth

We need to talk about Devin. The guy's got the flu and looks like he's been dragged from one of those incubators in The Matrix. Still, he's putting on a show that rivals, well, just about anyone you might care to mention.

But that’s not to dismiss his valiant support acts. Shining receive a rapturous amount of praise, particularly for an opening band, after chugging through their ‘blackjazz’ hits – 'One One One' is basically industrial metal plus added sax – with supreme confidence.

Jørgen Munkeby's static-laden screams are sometimes lost in the mix but it doesn't matter. The man is an absolute star, swapping from guitar to saxophone like it ain't no thang. Håkon Sagen plays guitar like an axe-murderer delivering the final blow and the finale of I Won't Forget ensures booties are shaken and the curious are converted.

Periphery are a different bag. Their slick, perilously precise prog metal has been bubbling under the surface for some time now, and this year's superb 'Juggernaut' twin release established them as genuine players.

Frontman Spencer Sotelo leads the charge tonight, pink hair bobbing as aggressively as pink hair can bob, as he growls through The Bad Thing and unleashes piercing, inconceivably high clean melodies in equal measure. Drummer Matt Helpem plays with fluidity and creative flair to rival Mike Portnoy and more ferocity than Dave Lombardo. And, all that while pulling a face reminiscent of an octopus having a 50 minute orgasm.

Periphery are virtuosos – guitarist Misha Mansoor is the Vai, Malmsteen or Jesus Christ of the 21st century – and are going to blow the fuck up at any minute. They straddle the line between proggy nerdishness and anthemic festival tunes and the only tiny niggle with their performance is that they are a tad static. Obviously this stuff is bloody complicated to play, but the sheer power of the music demands more. It’s a bit like finding the cure for cancer and saying: “So... pub?”

And now back to Devin. Clogged up with snot but undeterred – aggressive nipple rubbing and rude hand gestures feature heavily  – he reminds a sold out crowd why they fell in love with him to begin with.

Rarities like Namaste and the pop-driven Christeen are aired ahead of new stuff, with only four fresh songs getting a seeing to tonight. March Of The Poozers remains as ridiculously pompous as it is on record, and evil bum aliens and sock puppets flash on screens while Brian Waddell and Dave Young mischievously poke their instruments toward the crowd. It's like watching five blokes win the lottery, marry Emma Stone and kill their boss in the space of an evening. This is what happiness looks like.

Townsend’s stage banter is top notch and even his flu-ravaged voice sounds godly. He doesn't quite hit the operatic splendour we hope for at the tail-end of Storm, but the look on his face as he dawdles through Lucky Animals with Munkeby on sax, clad in a rubber monkey mask, voids any vocal shortcomings.

The mass singalong to Addicted!'s opening melody feels like a budget Iron Maiden chant – in a really good way – and Kingdom is perfect. They rock so hard, in fact, that the screens at the back of the stage stop working. Brains spill from craniums. Lives are changed. Just another day at the office for The Devin Townsend Project.

Devin Townsend Project Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue March 31 2015 - MANCHESTER Academy
Sat April 11 2015 - BOURNEMOUTH O2 Academy Bournemouth
Mon April 13 2015 - LONDON Royal Albert Hall

Click here to compare & buy Devin Townsend Project Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!

Related News

Devin Townsend Project Share Live Performance Of Truth
Thu 24 May 2018
Devin Townsend Project have shared a live performance of Truth.
Devin Townsend Project To Release 'Ocean Machine' Concert Film In July
Fri 27 Apr 2018
Devin Townsend Project have announced a concert film.
Win Devin Townsend Project 'Transcendence' Merch
Mon 27 Feb 2017
Competition closed. Please check our blog to see if you're a winner! Devin Townsend Project kick off the UK leg of their Transcendence tour next month and Stereoboard are giving you the chance to win a merch bundle including a CD copy of the album, a signed A4 print, a key ring and a t-shirt.
If You Have Ghost: The Evolution of Metal's Satanic Disco Showstoppers
Fri 26 Oct 2018
Illustration: Sam Davies There is a world of difference between Ghost today and the dark, shadowy group that emerged from an occult realm with the release of ‘Opus Eponymous’ at the turn of the decade. Once a band that disgorged Sabbathian doom metal splattered with gothic horror imagery, they have evolved into a rock spectacle that’s part pantomime, part musical and part Satanic disco.
Greta Van Fleet - Anthem Of The Peaceful Army (Album Review)
Wed 24 Oct 2018
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that Michigan’s Greta Van Fleet are one of the first young rock bands in a long time to generate a truly massive amount of hype ahead of the release of their debut full length. After two very successful EPs - 2017’s ‘Black Some Rising’ and ‘From The Fires’ - we have ‘Anthem Of The Peaceful Army’ in our hands, and it’s an interesting proposition.
Monster Truck - True Rockers (Album Review)
Fri 12 Oct 2018
“Hey there, are we speaking with the big time?”
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators - Living The Dream (Album Review)
Mon 08 Oct 2018
Photo: Gene Kirkland There’s something bittersweet about this excellent third album from Slash, Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. ‘Living The Dream’ is bursting at the seams with old school, anthemic rock ‘n’ roll of the highest calibre, but at the same time it’s hard to shake the feeling that the person behind such exhilarating music and exceptional guitar work is the very last of a dying breed.
Unheavenly Creatures: Coheed and Cambria Turn A New Page
Mon 05 Nov 2018
Concept is sometimes a dirty word in rock ‘n’ roll but it’s one that’s impossible to avoid when you’re talking about New York prog heroes Coheed and Cambria, who have crafted a rich catalogue set against the science-fiction backdrop of The Amory Wars, a comic book written by frontman Claudio Sanchez.
< Prev   Next >