He is on the list of the reasons I’m proud to be Canadian. This British Columbia-born man is a sincerely talented musician that has attacked so many different projects and personas. There’s his debut record, Punky Bruster – Cooked on Phonics, his work as lead vocals on Steve Vai’s Sex & Religion, and the killer band, Strapping Young Lad. Not to mention The Devin Townsend Band, and now The Devin Townsend Project.
Just knowing that you hold a ticket for a Devin Townsend Project concert in your hand is like holding a ticket into Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, except in this case it is a Totally Amazing Amusing Music Factory ticket.
This is sadly only my second concert of his, but I know what I’m in for and this February 13 performance is at The Phoenix in Toronto – everything is just oh so right!
When I read the lineup, I was surprised to see that The Devin Townsend Project was not headlining the show; odd, but also nice to not have to wait so long for him to hit the stage.
The man is truly a witty joker, in between songs he is quick with his humour. Jokes range from the size of his mother’s vagina to making fun of his bandmates (who all in good spirits, of course) but there’s also a kind, down-to-earth loving person on stage. He often references his wife and his love for her and his family.
Townsend is known to also be a comedian during his songs – he plays these insanely heavy riffs but makes mocking ‘heavy metal’ musician faces and entertainingly cheesy poses with his guitar at the audience, all at the same time. I, personally, love it.
His guitar playing is amazing, and always has been. He also has the ability to redesign his voice and it has shown through out his entire career, to date, and he is still trying new things.
The set list was, in my opinion, perfect. He played ‘Juular’ (I know a lot of people didn’t enjoy this song when it came out, but I thought it was brilliant!) and ‘Stand’ from 2011’s Deconstruction. We got a title ‘Vampira’ and a surprise awaited the crowd – a beautiful acoustic version of ‘Ih-Ah!’ from Addicted.
For the encore, we got ‘Colour Your World’ and ‘The Greys’. Townsend announced this with, ‘Fake encore alert!’ and asked the audience to boo until he and the rest of the band returned to the stage.
The entire concert coexisted with videos, some theoretical, some basic pulsing images that definitely drove in the beat of the music, others more complex to try to describe.
The show was great, everyone was happy, and in high spirits, but most of all, the music and performance kicked serious ass!