Canyon Club; Agoura, CA; 01/15/06

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Yeah. I know. Devo's about as far from hard rock / heavy metal as you can get. I don't care. I've loved this band since their second album ("Duty Now For the Future," which I still consider a favorite) and a live show by these new wave rockers is a rare event these days. When I heard they were playing a set of three nights at the Canyon Dinner Theater, merely forty miles from home, I had to go.

I'm so glad I did.

Still as much fun as they've ever been, Devo tore up the Canyon Dinner Theater that evening, delivering a set rife with familiar tunes. The band went right into three of their biggest hits back-to-back (with "Whip It," "Girl U Want " and "Satisfaction") and surrounded them with lesser known tunes that the real fans ate up ("Blockhead" "Jocko Homo" and more.)

Sure, the band shows some signs of aging, but that didn't keep their energy levels down. Frontman Mark Mothersbaugh delivered a dynamic performance that was half robot, half P.T. Barnum, ripping the yellow jumpsuit costumes off of his bandmates during "Uncontrollable Urge." Bassist Gerald V. Casale gave the show its political edge ("Do you believe in evolution?" Casale asked the sold-out crowd. "You don't have to look very far to find it," Casale continued. "Just start with that chimp in the White House and work your way down!") And, once again, guitarist Bob Casale delivered a razor sharp performance, not an easy feat with a band that depends as heavily on synthesizers as Devo.

I've never been to a bad Devo show and I've seen the band at least a dozen times. This time was no different. Even after all these years, the band still delivers a fun, lively and completely engaging performance that will leave you with a smile on your face.

It seems that there are several more dates popping up later this year so, if Devo comes to your hometown ... or anywhere near ... grab your energy dome and your plastic pompadour and do not miss the show!

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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.