One of the artists most hit by the current pandemic is Devin Townsend. Having lost a lot of revenue due to the current and foreseeable touring cycle getting canceled, Townsend has already come up with many projects to share with the fans. The Canadian musician started a GoFundMe campaign, has written new songs, hosted a podcast, and finally, decided to organize a series of streaming concerts to which the proceeds would go to Vancouver’s General Hospital. The first one of these gigs was held on 18 April 2020.
At 22:00 Finnish time, Devin Townsend started his intimate evening with a virtual audience. The set was quite minimalistic, Townsend had prepared his setup in his, presumably, own home studio along with his electric guitar and an X-Box controller next to him to change the camera angle. Townsend started greeting the audience to ensure everything was alright but while he was speaking there was somewhat of an echo. Someone in the audience reminded everyone that Townsend loves his echos and that we shouldn’t worry. Indeed, when the set started with the heavy fan-favorite, “Kingdom,” all the issues seem to fade away and the progressive metal legend delivered a top-notch version of the song along with a backing track and his electric guitar.
The heavy setlist proceeded with “Juular” from his time with the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT. I can’t remember whether I ever heard this song live, so it was quite a surprise to finally hear some version of it and I was instantly blown away. DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT classic “Supercrush!” followed and Devin Townsend proudly showed off his X-Box controller which he changed the camera angles with. The heavy songs continued with a version of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD‘s “Love,” a song that can’t simply be left off of a setlist.
So far, Devin Townsend dedicated the setlist to somewhat heavier classics that fans love, so the more mellow “Why?” from his latest album, “Empath,” was a welcome change in the dynamics. That Townsend had prepared 45 minutes of classic hits coming from his own repertoire was becoming clear with the fan-favorite “Deadhead” from “Accelerated Evolution.” The Canadian musician still had two songs left for us. When we felt that it was almost not possible to top up the performance he had done so far he played a dynamic version of “Ih-Ah!” and ended his set with the crazy “Vampira.”
After his set was done Townsend thanked the audience and sponsors and before we knew it, the stream was over. Altogether this was a unique, fun experience for fans. Even though these streaming concerts are not the same thing, Townsend made sure that he provided his virtual audience with the best combination of songs possible and with a lot of dynamics and spirit. The sound quality was top-notch and even though the production was quite minimal, it had a sort of Devin Townsend touch to it. Ultimately, it was a great way to spend a Saturday evening.
Written by Laureline Tilkin
- Juular (Devin Townsend Project song)
- Supercrush! (Devin Townsend Project song)
- Love? (Strapping Young Lad song)
- Deadhead (The Devin Townsend Band song)
- Ih-Ah! (Devin Townsend Project song)
- Vampira (The Devin Townsend Band song)