(The actual concert does not start that way)
Devo arrive slowly on stage, set up, plug in and start as they mean to go on, their own way.
If all you know of Devo are the songs Whip It, Working In A Coalmine and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction this should prove to be an eye opening experience. The band take you on a journey back to (almost) the very beginning starting in the various basements and garages of Kent and Akron, Ohio. The sound is deliberately de-manufactured using genuine technology (synthesizers, effects pedals and the like) of the time rather than programmed to play through a bank of computers. (Mark Mothersbaugh makes a comment about the sheer unreliability of the equipment available and states that it took a level of skill and dumb luck to get the same sound every gig – more on this later – see viewing notes) Dissonance and distortion are the way that Devo created not only their unique sound but also in fact themselves as stage magicians.
The concert features a plethora of the earliest songs the band wrote and recorded between 1973 and 1977 – most of which have only been heard via heavily degraded copies of bootleg cassette tapes available at the time – in full HD clarity, being performed live by a band that are so tight it feels like a rehearsal session.
Highlights – The History of Devo through wardrobe, building Satisfaction guitar, Booji Boy being just as freaky as he ever was and a fitting tribute to Bob 2 (Robert Casale) in the form of Clock Out with his bass part played by his son.
Viewing notes – before watching the concert go to the extras menu and choose whether you want to watch with or without interspersed interview segments. Although these are interesting and informative they do take away slightly from the live gig in your house vibe.
Low points – no proper interview segment, no Mongoloid.
All in all a great presentation – music, humour and (limited amounts of) enlightenment.
De-evolution may be as real and inevitable as entropy but it looks like a hell of a lot of fun!
Are we not men?
(8/10 Theta Sigma)