TVD Live Shots: The Devin Townsend Project with TesseracT at the Eventim Apollo, 3/17

Photographed by Jason Miller_

The first time I saw Devin Townsend perform live was when he was hand selected by Steve Vai as the vocalist for Vai’s landmark album Sex and Religion and the tour that would follow.

That was back in 1993 at Mississippi Nights in St. Louis. I remember the show being epic as one would expect from a Vai show, but the bigger question was who in the hell was this insane singer that looked like a superhero and sang like a prog-rock version of Mike Patton? This guy’s voice went from gorgeous soaring highs to razor-sharp screams in a split second. It was the perfect complement to Vai’s eclectic, mind-bending soundscapes, but that wouldn’t last long.

Photographed by Jason Miller_

A year or so later I got a copy of Townsend’s new band Strapping Young Lad in the mail at the record store I worked at. I think it was part of the Concrete Corner program. I put this thing on inside the store and scared the shit out of every person who was shopping at the time. This was by far the heaviest thing I had ever heard in my life, and it had a huge wall of sound layered harmonies. It was as if Queen had been crossed with Pantera but then stuck to the front of a Mack truck and driven through a brick wall at an insanely high speed. In other words, it was awesome.

I remember that I loved this record so much that I called up the record label rep (Century Media) and asked for some extra posterS so that I could build a Strapping Young Lad shrine in the store celebrating its greatness. When I called the rep he mentioned that Devin was working there at the label and asked if I wanted to say hello to him. I yelled out a resounding hell yes and two seconds later I was chatting to the man himself. He was the coolest, most down to earth, nothing like his insane stage presence self—and I was blown away. We chatted for a moment and then I had to get back to work.

Photographed by Jason Miller_

Photographed by Jason Miller_-9

A few days later a large box showed up full of Strapping Young Lad posters. As I was pulling them out one by one to build my record store shrine, there was one single poster folded very nice and neat in the bottom of the box. I unfolded it to reveal a note from Devin saying thanks for the support Jason. He had personally signed one of the posters for me and I still have that poster to this day. Now THAT’S how you make an impression on a fan and I’ve been a fan ever since. But I never got to see Mr. Townsend live again—that is, until the stars aligned for an incredibly special show in London last week at the Eventim Apollo.

Townsend has evolved into The Devin Townsend Project and his music has gone from extreme and adventurous to watch me create a fucking masterpiece of a concept record called Ocean Machine. I was going to witness this juggernaut of an album being performed in its entirety for the first time even. What was it like? The Eventim was jammed wall to wall for this event and the fans were absolutely losing their shit in anticipation of what was to come.

Townsend and his very capable band recreated the incredibly complex Ocean Machine true to form. No one told Townsend to do this but from the look on his face that went from quirky smile to a raging prog-metal god, it’s easy to see why he did. He clearly loves the challenge as he continues to push the genre into new directions. No one can do what this guy does either live or in the studio, he’s literally a mad genius. The performance that night was on an entirely different level than his peers in the prog-metal community. Townsend is the jewel in the crown of the thinking person’s metal and it’s fascinating to see how well his music resonates here in the UK. The question now becomes, what will he do next to top this?

Photographed by Jason Miller_-10

Photographed by Jason Miller_-3

Photographed by Jason Miller_-7

Photographed by Jason Miller_-4

Photographed by Jason Miller_-8

Photographed by Jason Miller_-11

Photographed by Jason Miller_-4

Photographed by Jason Miller_-5

Photographed by Jason Miller_-5

Photographed by Jason Miller_-6

Photographed by Jason Miller_-2

Photographed by Jason Miller_-3

Photographed by Jason Miller_

Photographed by Jason Miller_-14

Photographed by Jason Miller_

Photographed by Jason Miller_-2

Photographed by Jason Miller_-6

Photographed by Jason Miller_-7

Photographed by Jason Miller_-8

Photographed by Jason Miller_-9

Photographed by Jason Miller_-10

Photographed by Jason Miller_-12

Photographed by Jason Miller_-13

TESSERACT

Photographed by Jason Miller_-10

Photographed by Jason Miller_-7

Photographed by Jason Miller_-8

Photographed by Jason Miller_-9

Photographed by Jason Miller_-5

Photographed by Jason Miller_-6

Photographed by Jason Miller_-4

Photographed by Jason Miller_-2

Photographed by Jason Miller_-3

Photographed by Jason Miller_

Check out hi-res shots of The Devin Townsend Project here and TesseracT here.

This entry was posted in TVD UK. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text