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This bootleg footage of Saturday night’s show brought to you by someone calling him or herself “OnaiggacA.”

Between the Buried and Me, Cynic, and Scale the Summit are all amazing bands. And on Saturday night at Irving Plaza here in NY, they played amazing shows. The kinds of shows that, at any given moment, might make you think “Hey, this is one of the most fun shows I’ve ever been to.”

But make no mistake. The headliner of this tour is Mr. Devin Fucking Townsend.

The crowd give him a welcome befitting a hero’s return, which was appropriate, given it’s Heavy Devy’s first time on the road in three and a half years. Townsend, in turn, responded by stepping onto the stage and playing… nothing. He started his set with a story. About a shit he’d taken earlier in the day. Why the fuck would he start his set with a story about his day’s bowel movement?

Who cares? The story was hilarious – I’m not even gonna try and recall it in all its glorious detail here, but the poo in question was described in some detail – and the fact that Townsend can get away with kicking off his show by just by talking speaks (no pun intended) to the fact that he is one of the best front men out there.  His vocals are in incredible shape, he’s funnier than Frank Mullen, and he has charisma to burn. His set even had the best light show of the evening. Add to that the man’s capabilities as a musician – as displayed by a too-brief thirty minute set, which included everything from “Super Crush” to “Om” to “Ziltoidia Attaxx!!!” – and he makes 99% of everyone else in metal look bad. Period.

But as I said – this is not to suggest that the other three bands on the bill are part of that 99%. On the contrary, on any other tour, any one of these bands might very well be the best on the bill. Scale the Summit are unbelievably impressive, especially given their young age. And both Vince and I were pleasantly surprised to see the venue already packed when they took the stage – with an audience that seemed intimately familiar with STS’ catalog.  It’s great to see how appreciated this band is already.

Not surprisingly, Cynic played the mellowest set of the night, and the one that seemed to spark the greatest number of doobies in the shortest period of time. Every song sounded stellar, which isn’t surprising; that Paul Masvidal seems to have taken to leading each night’s crowd in a group yoga stretch (the half moon, in case you’re curious), is. But it was great, especially for old men with back problems like Vince and myself. Every band should have their equivalent of the seventh inning stretch.

And then BTBAM closed the night with an hour-plus set that spread across their entire discography, from “More of Myself to Kill” to “Alaska” to “Obfuscation” to the tremendous set closer, “White Walls.” Yes, all fourteen minutes and thirteen seconds of “White Walls.” Yes, it was awesome. And, yes,  it was awesome to see BTBAM get to play more than a couple songs, as has been the case when they’re in support slots.

Like I said… all of these bands were incredible. I have friends who didn’t like the show or didn’t even care enough to go, and that’s just baffling to me. Devin Townsend referred to all the bands on the bill as “nerdcore,” and proudly announced “I FUCKED AN ORC!” If loving these bands makes me a nerd, well, then bring me an orc and a jimmy hat.


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