LIVE REVIEW: Devin Townsend Project at the Academy (June 14th 2017)

06-14 - Devin Townsend Project Tour Poster

Date: June 14th, 2017
Venue: The Academy, Dublin
Line-up: Devin Townsend Project + Mindriot

Irish metal fans have truly been spoiled this week, having already welcomed Gojira just a few nights ago, tonight we have the master of “low mid-tier prog metal” Mr. Devin Townsend.

A few days before the show it was Irish band Mindriot that was announced to be the support for the show, even then they were chuffed to bits at the opportunity but it was on the stage when you really saw them have a run of it. The humour and the banter with the crowd really set in that this was a full-blooded Irish band, like telling us very early on in the night that they needed to get us warmed up for Devin or else they wouldn’t get paid. They were given a fairly lengthy set of their heavy alt rock during which they managed to get the crowd in a good mood, from the high energy anthem ‘Boys Of The Tomahawk’ to the more sombre ‘Low’. Vocalist Tony Gorry mentioned when the finished up that the band had been going for 25 years and were in it for the love of it and nothing else, a sincerity which shone across their performance.

The Devin Townsend Project is the latest project in the long lasting career of Canadian musician Devin Townsend, a career that has seen him rise to become one of metal’s most lovable figures. Rather appropriately the band opened with ‘Rejoice’, I say this because of the universal applause and excitement of the crowd once the main man himself took to the stage.

With a rather large back catalogue to choose from under his many guises I imagine it has become a rather daunting task to make up a setlist. The band are currently touring in support of their latest album Transcendence, which was released last year, so that made an impression on the set but they were also recently touring in celebration of 20 years of Ocean Machine so a couple of tracks from that were also added.

The crowd were always in awe at Devin, he in his own strange way speaks them on their level, and he’s wonderfully weird in every sense of the word. He never stopped telling seemingly random jokes, strange quips and overall he just brings a smile to everyone’s face. At one point he said in jest that the kind of people to come to one of his shows was someone who was “social inept and must have gotten B’s in high school”. Aside from his general lovability, his talent as a musician is also to be praised; his semi-operatic vocals were stunning and jaw-dropping.

The variety of music on display was taken kindly by the crowd subduing themselves for the more atmospheric, somewhat epic style of the newer material, moshed around like crazy for the Ziltoid songs and bounced around smiling for the catchy Addicted tracks.

Devin’s comedic side shone again when it came time for the encore, messing around with the audience, barely even leaving the stage himself. He was handed an acoustic guitar and launched into a solo performance of ‘Ih-Ah!’ which he himself admits is an incredibly cheesy song. It was hard not to laugh and smile through those few minutes, the crowd loudly singing along with the chorus, Devin’s break mid song when he not so subtly changes the lyrics to “God I love you… Dublin”. The rest of the band join him back on stage and, after a little cutesy introduction for each of them from Devin, the closed the show with ‘Higher’.

Finishing up their set they once again showed that they were a bunch of the friendliest guys by very happily coming out and shaking hands, throwing picks/drum sticks, etc all with smiles across their faces.

Where We Belong
Ziltoid Goes Home
March of the Poozers



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