Show Reviews



Video from the show by Bmoviesandmetal

I’d like to think I’m an okay girlfriend. I don’t do the whole creepy baby talk thing, I’m not a “woo girl” (I’m watching How I Met Your Mother while writing this and Christ. This episode is making me so happy I went to art school, because now I can handle pretentious douches so much better than drunk sorority girls who hoot at Every. Goddamn. Thing), and I don’t yell at the boy if he’d rather play a Star Wars role playing game than hang out with me. Hey, sometimes you gotta go kill an errant Jawa.

So it’s with some smug pride that I believe I lived up to the title of good girlfriend this past weekend. You see, my boy has loved Devin Townsend since high school. What better birthday gift than tickets to his show as well as entrance to the special VIP meet and greet? To top it off, we would laugh at, rather than be one of, the “metal couples.” You know who they are. Standing in a tight clinch and glaring at anyone who dares breathe their air. Haha, jerks. Whoops, just jostled you.

I love The Wildhearts. They’re probably one of my favorite bands, and they’re the reason I started listening to Devin Townsend. He was with them for awhile, and their influence is really apparent on Addicted — especially on the track, “Resolved,” which sounds like “Vanilla Radio” gone through the Devin machine. Though I appreciate his stuff with Strapping Young Lad, The Devin Townsend Project is where I really got into his music. The first three songs I ever heard were “Christeen,” “Bad Devil,” and “War,” and they blew me away. “War” is still my favorite ,and I just love how he goes from being fucking ridiculous to melancholy to bittersweet to hilarious in the course of an album. And he’s just as awesome in person.

Meet and greets are usually stiff and impersonal, making fans seem pathetic and cloying rather than sincere. At least, that’s how I usually feel at them. Like, what do you say to someone you admire without sounding like a complete tool? It’s not like they haven’t heard it all before. But this meet and greet was such a relaxed, friendly environment. The Palladium in Worcester has two sections, and while the show was on the second floor, the greetings took place in the actual giant hall. It was about twenty people and Mr. Townsend shooting the shit as he sang a coupleof pieces and answered some questions. Yes, he has actually cleared a party by farting on the guacamole. And yes, at the exclamation of “There are LADIES here,” he did unleash his anal fury. He wafted it towards us, then bashfully apologized. It’s okay, it’s a metal show. I’d be more surprised if I wasn’t assaulted with various bodily odors. Show-going tips for girls are one thing, but guys? Deodorant. That’s all you really need to know.

Anyway, he is a silly, personable, and quite humble man, and I completely agree with his philosophy that we’re all here to live. What’s the point of going around bitching and moaning and having the “Ohhh life sucks, everything is useless” attitude? Fuck that! Have fun, enjoy life, get as much as you can from it. His show was pretty much the epitome of “YEEEAAAAAH EVERYTHING RULES.”

The openers were TesseracT, and I really enjoyed them. I also enjoyed the look of pure joy on the merch girl’s face when I bought a t-shirt for me and one for the boy. I like making someone’s night.

I was a little confused by the lead singer ,though. Muscle tee, tight pants, and faux hawk? Dude, you’re at the wrong show. But then he would unleash those vocals and… gyrate? He headbanged and kind of swiveled around like a mechanical snake thing. It was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen.

But those pants! We, along with a friend who also was at the show, came to some conclusions about his junk. A) He stuffs it in an aluminum cucumber scenario á la Derek Smalls from This is Spinal Tap, B) he suffered through his set with a pretty major case of priapism, and C) bra-vo, sir. Live long and prosper.

On a less crass note, I really did enjoy their set. They employ the same “wall of sound crashing on me” description I’d give Meshuggah, and it was good, proggymetal, but with lighter vocals. Everyone else seemed to agree with me, as they transformed the Palladium upstairs into a writhing, moshing being. Worcester’s not an easy audience, and it was kind of amazing to see how the crowd embraced TesseracT. At the end of their set, there was a huge number of enthusiastic fans lining up to buy records, t-shirts, and get autographs and pictures. It was kind of fun seeing how the band transformed from this seemingly cool British act to sweet, kind of nerdy boys delighted that people actually wanted their stuff. I do whole-heartedly recommend them if you’re into the djent “movement,” if we’re to get all hoity-toity music writer-y about it.

However, the reaction to TesseracT was NOTHING compared to Devin. Every single person knew every single word to every single song. From the backing vocals to the various “Whooooas” and everything in between. The pure fucking joy of being at that show I think even got to the band, because I caught them giving each other disbelieving smiles at the enthusiasm with which they were cheered on. They also joined in on the party — because that’s basically what the show was — and threw water bottles at each other near the end of the set. Devin was just Devin, of course. Apparently, HE LOVES CATS. I do too, man. He also made fun of the staff guy standing on the bar in his self-important role as fun-stopper: “That man is really tall!” He joked and cackled and made lewd jokes and even got various audience members to come onstage to sign along and freak out to “Bend it Like Bender!”

It was probably the most fun show I’ve ever been to. The area had a sort of mezzanine, which is where I stood and got to watch everyone just freak out while Devin lapped it up. They even managed to support a crowd surfer in the somewhat cramped space. They deserved the sweet kisses Devin laid on their heads. Yeah, that happened.

I can’t believe it, but Worcester, you made me proud. The only other time you did that was when you booed Sonic Syndicate off the stage when they opened for Amon Amarth a couple years back. I’m going to go ahead and assume this was all Mr. Townsend’s doing, but he even got the entire venue to appreciate the early ‘90s pop-dance house music. You have not lived until you’ve seen a horde of metal fans bopping to, “I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world.” Don’t try and pretend you’re so kvlt, I saw EVERYTHING. And it was amazing.


Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits