Devo.JPG
Devo

The Moore

Tuesday, March 15

What was more interesting than actually seeing four-fifths of the original Devo lineup--the duo of brothers Mark and Bob

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Devo's Still On to Something: Hits, Hats, and a Few Flubs, Last Night at the Moore

Devo.JPG
Devo

The Moore

Tuesday, March 15

What was more interesting than actually seeing four-fifths of the original Devo lineup--the duo of brothers Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh and Gerry and Bob Casale--was observing just how many die-hard fans actually rock those geometric flowerpot hats at the show. There were more of the band's iconic "Energy Dome" hats in the Moore's crowd last night (in addition to Devo T-shirts, plastic hair, and various other Archie McPhee-like accessorizing) than you'd expect to find in some conceptual dadaist garden. But then, this highly visual aspect of the band is a big draw for Devo fans, and with their matching uniforms (changed no less than four times during the show), primary-colored instruments, and borderline-seizure-inducing video display, the band delivered the kind of multimedia, new wave pop their cult following knows and loves.

That's not to say the band brought a tremendous amount of physical energy to the stage: running in place, gesturing emphatically, and a bit of synchronized spinning was about all the pep the band mustered (though it must be said that Devo as a band has been preaching their idea of "de-evolution" since the early '70s). But their media screen--a flashing collage of pop-culture images playing on their common themes of conformity and man's "de-evolution"--was a good distraction every time the band stumbled through their lightly choreographed steps and a slew of hits, covers, and new material (including "Girl U Want," "It's a Beautiful World," "Satisfaction," "Secret Agent Man," and "Freedom of Choice"), and carried the show right along. The crowd seemed to have no problem bringing an energy all its own, nearly trampling one another when a few blue Devo hats were flung into the mass during cult anthem "Whip It."

Check out these images from last night's Devo show.

As mixed as the crowd was--bearded hippies bobbed heads alongside fist-pumping rockers--they all sang along with the frenzied, robotic set, unanimously shouting "We Are Devo!" at the prompting of "Are we not men?"--a lyric from "Jocko Homo," a theme song of sorts. The band dropped the tongue-in-cheek act for a moment and shared a laugh when lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh flubbed the lyrics to that same song and stopped to collect himself. For all their notions of man's intellectual regression and their robotic, calculated image, it takes a lot of energy to drive the point home night after night, and Devo is, after all, just a bunch of old dudes in a band. And that's no knock on them: They might be the ambassadors of "de-evolution," but few things are more evolved than a good sense of humor.

The little things: Opening band The Octopus Project could be seen backstage--this was their first show opening for Devo--enjoying the show and taking photos.

Overheard at the show: Gerry Casale to the audience: "Things are pretty devolved out there, wouldn't you say?"

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