Sound: Devin Townsend has had quite a bit of time to refine his sound, and it has really shown live. His guitar parts could be beautiful, overwhelming, emotional, or even hypnotic. He made sure to blend in with the rest of the band when needed, and stood out when he had a more important part. He had about 4 or 5 different guitars, all different signature models from Peavey, all very nice looking and sounding guitars. His vocals were excellently executed, he can have a soothing voice, and then have some wicked growls in the next song. His quirky antics also gave the show a light-hearted tone, adding to the fun factor a good deal.
Ryan Van Poederooyen, the drummer for the Devin Townsend Project, had quite a bit of focus in the live sound of the band. He is quite the talented drummer, and it was natural for him to be predominant wherever he was supposed to play. His drumming was very well performed, but his tone could have been shaped a little better. His snare drum was a little to shrill for my liking, and it almost hurt my ears in some songs.
Brian Waddell, the bassist for the Project, handled his parts very professionally. He never really tried to stand out, but his bass parts reverberated some very nice pulses in the chests of the audience. He was very into the performance, interacting with myself and the audience, including myself, quite a bit during and in-between songs. He would come up to chat between songs, and handed out bottles of water to some people, I was fortunate enough to get one, since I had a cold at the time of the show.
The other guitarist for the Project, Mark Cimino, performed very expertly, you could tell that he was taking the show very seriously. He kind of hung back for the majority of the show, but he still managed to interact with the audience a bit. His guitar tone was very beautiful, especially the chords he plays in the song "Deep Peace".
Unfortunately, Anneke van Giersbergen, the female voice on the album "Addicted!" by the Project was not present for any US tour dates. Two songs from that album were featured in the set, and a sample was played where her vocals were featured. They still sounded nice, but I would have loved to have heard her live vocals, and I feel that she would have added a good amount of energy to the performance.
I was very pleased with the way the performance was carried out, it was obvious that the members of the Project knew what they were doing, and that made the set extremely enjoyable. I loved the sound, it seemed to have been very carefully polished over the years. // 9
Perfomance: Since Devy (Devin Townsend) was the headliner, most of the people at the show were there for him, and everyone was having a great time, especially when he came on. Tons of people in the crowd were getting into it, whether they were laughing at Devy farting into a microphone, tossing hats for him to wear on-stage, or cheering when he blew boogers on them. There was no barrier at this venue, so you could be right up against the stage, inches away from the performers, which allowed it to be a lot more intimate. After the show was over many people were left astonished and overjoyed at the performance, lots of people stuck around to talk about it.
I was lucky enough to receive one of their setlists, and here's what they played:
01. Addicted! - Great opener, one everyone could easily sing along to.
02. Supercrush! - They went straight into this after Addicted!, so it fit perfectly.
03. Kingdom - This song kicked up the intensity a little bit, and Devy started to interact with the crowd here.
04. Deadhead - Settles you into the set, got some people moving in the front rows.
05. Truth - Didn't really know this song prior to the show, so it was one I didn't enjoy as much.
06. Om - Same thing, but it set up for a Ziltoid song well.
07. By Your Command - Probably my second favorite song of the night, everything was spot on, really powerful song.
08. Life - Incredibly fun, Devy went upstairs to play right in front of the people at the bar in this song, and lots of singing along.
09. Gaia - Devy was dancing around the whole time between singing parts, he can be a really funny guy.
10. Pixillate - The bass/drum combination in the beginning was really great, Devy did a little bit of improvising in this song.
11. Bad Devil - Really fun song, hadn't heard it before the show, everyone in the band was enjoying playing it quite a bit.
12. Colour Your World - They led right into this, wasn't expecting the intensity. It seemed like almost everyone was singing along.
13. The Greys - Colour Your World led straight into this, and the band was being absolutely relentless.
Devy came up to the microphone after handing off his guitar and joked for a little while. He was saying that they were going to go off-stage while the crowd boos, and they would then come back completely unexpectadely and play an Encore after the crowd cheered for one. They left while the crowd played along, after the door closed an Encore was cheered for. After a couple of minutes, the band slowly came back out, got ready, and began to play:
14. Deep Peace - Easily my favorite song of the night. Mark and Devy began to play the chords, but only Mark could be heard. Something went wrong in Devy's wireless set on his main guitar, and it wasn't giving an output. Mark and Ryan began to play the beginning section over and over as Devy frantically tried to fix his guitar, then his pedalboard, his rack, just trying to see what went wrong. He was asking the audience (including my dad) in the front row what he should do with his pedalboard. After a few minutes, he got it to work, and they properly played the song. Devy got the crowd to swing back and forth for the majority of the song, and it seemed like everyone in the building was playing along.
After the song was over, they gave an extended thank you, threw out picks (caught one of Brian's), etc. and left the stage.
Great show overall, even if I didn't really enjoy some of the songs nearly as much as I did the others. I also did not care for the openers, their sound was bad, too loud, and they were pretty boring to watch honestly. // 9
Overall Impression: The show was at Studio Seven, which is located in an industrial Park in Seattle, Washington, United States on October the 9th of 2009. The venue holds around 700 or so people, and has an upstairs area with a balcony and a bar.
Openers were a local band called Darkest Grace and Tesseract. Again, pretty boring. Darkest Grace played a really generic sounding fast paced metal set, with a good deal of cheesiest. Tesseract was cool for a song or two, but there was hardly any variation between any of the songs, and it got old quickly.
I really enjoyed how much the Project get into live shows, they gave off a very warming feeling to the crowd, it's good to be assured that they genuinely want to play for each person in the room. Their sound was incredible, and their setlist made it really easy to have fun the whole time. I was glad that this show was in such a small venue, it made it seem a lot more friendly and allowed the band to interact more with the crowd.
I did not like the openers very much. I was more glad to get out of the rain than I was to watch them, honestly. Also, the venue got ridiculously hot during the show, way more than I expected. That made it pretty uncomfortable, especially since I was probably running a mild fever at the time of the show. Other than that, it was a pretty good show.
Devy got almost 2 hours of play time, and I feel that that was easily worth about $15 and standing in the rain for 3 hours with no sweatshirt. I made sure to stand in line early enough that I would be guaranteed a front row spot, and I do no regret it in the least. It would have been one thing to watch the Project from 50 feet or so away, but it was an entirely different show when you get to stand right under the performers, bump fists with them, talk to them, receive gifts from them, sing with them, and so on. I'd highly recommend going to a show by these guys, they made it worth it. // 9