It's a testament to DEVO's legacy that they can play their sole top forty hit, "Whip It" smack in the middle of their set and still have a packed house for their encore. Despite looking like gray-headed mid-life crisis cases, DEVO made damn sure they throughly rocked every head in the place. Focusing on a concise set focused on the Q; Are Not Men to Oh No! It's Devo period.
Surprisingly, some of the stronger moments of the set came from songs off their new album Something for Everybody.
Set opener "Don't Shoot (I'm a Man)" fired up the crowd and the hypnotic "Don't Tase Me Bro" chant at the end was a nice treat. "Fresh" was infectious fun, a danceable sugar coated piece of pop that ended up being the song playing in my head as I walked out.
Good as their new shit is, it couldn't compete with the time-honored masterpieces that flowed thick and heavy during the second half of the set. A wicked run through "Mongoloid," an awesome "Jocko Homo," "Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA" and an explosive "Gates of Steel" had the band showing us that they still have what it was that made them so great in the first place.
Mark Mothersbaugh was the center of attention, of course, but Jerry Casale held his end, while the two Bobs kept the background moving and Pusifer drummer Jeff Friedl kept the beat nice and cozy. They made the classics sound as strong as ever, and breathed new life into half-forgotten songs like "Going Under" and "That's Good."
The encore included a great version of "Freedom of Choice" and a Booji Boy-fronted "Beautiful World." But after the rip roaring "Mongoloid" - "Gates of Steel" ending of the proper set they seemed like a bit of a let down. Still, a minor quibble with a fantastic set by a nostalgia act that looks and sounds as exciting and vital as any young whipper-snapping band on the road today.
- Kris Arnold
- Booji Boy closes the night.