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Devin Townsend (The Circus, Helsinki) – 21/11/2019

Hevy Devy is back in town! After releasing the mindblowing ‘Empath’ album, Devin Townsend is on a European tour to bring his usual proggy joy and wacko fun to a place nearby you. Along with him, he took the UK-based Haken for a good warming up. So there we went to The Circus in Helsinki, Finland. Ready to be amazed…

Haken (***)

Just like Devin, Haken is known to make not the easiest music, but they often add a touch of fun and wacko that is much appreciated by me. The whole show was absolutely great and for a first time listener who isn’t that much into prog, just like me, they have some really engaging songs! After seeing these guys live, I might check into them a bit more. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one, because plenty of people showed up early already to see them play.

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Setlist:
Puzzle Box
A Cell Divides
Earthrise
Nil by Mouth
Cockroach King
1985

Devin Townsend (*****)

And then it was time for one of the most lovable guys in the music industry, who at the same time is a musical genius who has almost no match. Devin Townsend is back, presenting one of his most eclectic and emotional releases to date. ‘Empath‘ takes you on quite the ride on several levels and I was really looking forward to see how the grandiosity of that album would get translated to the stage.

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Just like his music, you never truly know what to expect of a Devin Townsend show. The way this show started must have been one of the most unconventional ways of starting a metal/rock concert that I’ve experienced to this day. Some Hawaii beach tunes came through the speakers and the keyboardist/sampler casually walked on stage. Arriving at his work station, he started pouring ingredients into a blender for I presume some tropical cocktail. After blending that up, the rest of the band appear one by one on stage, taking all the time in the world. Some are carrying a small palm tree with them, most go get a coconut shaped cup of cocktail before getting to their spot. Guitarist, bassist, drummer, 3 backing vocal girls,… Devin brought quite the collection of musicians with him. Last ones appearing were Ché Aimee Dorval, who collaborated with him earlier on Casualties of Cool and of course Devin himself.

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The ever so charming uncle Devy greeted us, welcomed us and told us he wanted to take all of us on a holiday to forget about anything that was going on outside. And that’s exactly what he did, taking us to somewhere completely else with epic and at times theatrical music. There were jokes, little tricks, mind-blowing visuals behind them and colorful lights going all over. But mostly, genre-bending and -crossing music that breaks any rules and conceptions you may have about it that translated in a whole bunch of fun. Most of the ‘Empath‘ tracks were played, combined with Devin Townsend Project songs and in the encore part they even played cover songs of The Trammps and Frank Zappa to make the party even more complete. I can’t wait to see Devin come back again soon enough, his shows are always a delight and lift you up to get through the rest of the week or even month!

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Setlist:
Borderlands
Evermore
War
Sprite
Coast (Devin Townsend Project song)
Gato (Devin Townsend Project song)
Heaven Send (Devin Townsend Project song)
Ain’t Never Gonna Win (Devin Townsend Project song)
Deadhead (The Devin Townsend Band song)
Why?
Lucky Animals (Devin Townsend Project song)
Castaway
Genesis
Spirits Will Collide (acoustic)

Encore:
Disco Inferno (The Trammps cover)
The Black Page #1 (Frank Zappa cover)
Kingdom

For more pictures, go here.



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Vaim

Music addict - DJ - Editor-in-chief/Journalist/Photographer/Gatekeeper @ GRIMM Gent - Suomi lover - Geek - Science nut - Nature worshiper/Pagan


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