This isn’t my first time reviewing The Devin Townsend project, but I will start it off probably the same way. My bias in favor of them still stands.
Musically The Devin Townsend Project offers a plethora of styles, all of which deliver with tenacity and artistry only matched by a frontman who pokes fun at his own idiosyncrocies. The powerhouse vocals tied together earth shaking drums and rolling bass lines deliver the poetics found in prog metal with the gritiness found in extreme metal. This isn’t easy to pull off, and sometimes the timing was off due to excessive banter or missing the high notes. Despite overdoing it to the point of hindrance that over the top embellishment added to the songs and brought something to folks already familiar with the work.
Not only was it more engaging, it was obvious the years of experience brought a clear command of audience interaction. Whenever it seemed like he was losing the audience Townsend found a way to rile them up again, be it singing along, counting down to “March of the Poozers”, or cracking jokes about being out of place and a dad possibly out of his element. Any mishap was handled by distracting the audience so well I didn’t even catch it (I only know it happened because he admitted to it, so kudos for getting one past me). Even the sound quality was a far cry better than last time, which I would expect from a decent venue and incredible sound engineers.
There was something that I felt was a little off about this area: the set list. I honestly expected more from the “Transcendence” album, though I welcomed hearing music from “Z2” and older albums. I also didn’t expect to hear songs like “Deadhead” so soon in the set list (that song was fourth if I recall). I surmise that it had to do with the flow of the energy, which this set kept constant. Regardless everyone had a good time, myself included.