The Girl U Want

As most people know, my photography interests and skills lean more towards food than people, so my concert shots (when I bother) are not stellar. As demonstrated below, I took a pile of shots through the first few songs of DEVO’s set last night with the camera on the wrong setting.

But when you’ve been wanting to see a band live since you were 13, evidence that you were actually there (some 28 years after the fact) is probably in order.

I am a bit exhausted today, but the show was brilliant. The band was tight and really energetic, although Mark Mothersbaugh was obviously using a teleprompter of some sort to remind him of the words on the more obscure album tracks.

The show was shorter than we’d have liked – the point was to play Freedom of Choice in it’s entirety, but albums were short back in the days of vinyl.

Before the band came out, the crowd watched the videos for Girl U Want, Whip It and Freedom of Choice on a big video screen. This made some in the crowd cranky – perhaps because they thought the band wouldn’t do the same tracks live, but they did.

We were quite near the front for the first few tracks (the entrance at The Phoenix where the band played is to the right of the stage), but after manic pogoing to Whip It, I moved to the back because it was too packed.

Mothersbaugh tossed a half dozen energy domes into the crowd which people fought for like home run balls at a baseball game, given the hats were $30 at the merchandise table.

For an encore they first did Be Stiff and then Beautiful World. I wasn’t super happy with this rendition – BW is my favourite DEVO song and Motherbaugh did most of it as Booji Boy and went on a bizarre tangential story about Booji riding in a limo with Michael Jackson. It was supposed to be social commentary of a sort, which DEVO is, of course, known for, but not being able to hear half the story just made the whole thing kind of weird.

Some shows got an second encore of Secret Agent Man, but it was not to be, and after tripping and rolling across the floor on the hundreds of rubber balls Motherbaugh threw out into the crowd during Beautiful World, we headed home, exhausted but happy.