When CackBlabbath asked me to check out Devin Townsend at Damnation Festival, the only rule was that the review had to be more than “Devin Townsend was ace”. Sorry, I can’t do it; Devin Townsend was super ACE!
Oh, you want more….
I’ll give you a bit of background. I have heard of this guy, and his work, never really taken the time out to listen to any of his stuff, and am totally kicking my own ass for not. Not the intro though – that confused the hell out of me. I walked in and the Bee Gees or some shit like that was on, with the Vengaboys following. What the fuck? Then you hear THE voice booming – ‘If you’re too cool for the Vengaboys, get the fuck out.’
Ziltoid The Omniscient was gracing the projector screen at the back of stage while Devin opened up with Truth. Amazing – I was hooked. The guy filled me with awe – completely stunned with not only the way the band could play, but also Devin’s EPIC facial expressions. Expressions I never thought were possible and a voice that ripped right through me. It’s fair to say the Devin Townsend Project completely blew me away – I found I was hanging on every riff and every beat.
It’s so hard to choose or at least hazard a guess as to what my ultimate favourite track of the set was, I thought every song they played was literally progressive metal heaven. Supercrush, Stand, Juular and Om – how the hell could you choose a favourite? If I had to pick one, I think the song that most grabbed my attention was By Your Command – purely down to, well, everything – the way the song was played, how it sounded, how it was performed, and how everyone reacted to it.
And the audience reaction was something else, – seeing everyone just hang on Devin’s every word, rocking out, hell, even seeing a sea of Ziltoid puppets appear above peoples heads. By the time the set finished with Vampira the whole place was still full of that special kind of energy, even after DTP had been on stage for over an hour. That pretty much did it for me, and was a perfect end to my first Damnation.
All I can say on the back of that show is this. I’m getting the discography, and then I’m going to play it to death. And I want a fucking Ziltoid puppet.