TVD Live Shots: Devo at YouTube Theater, 9/25

“Saturday night’s rare live performance at YouTube Theater in Los Angeles was truly one for the ages. It had everything fans would want in a Devo show (and more) including a killer setlist, multiple costume changes, and even a pre-show sighting of Fred Armisen (a true Devo-tee).  Fans from around the world donned their Red Energy Domes and Yellow Radiation Suits, coming together for one night to celebrate the music of a band that, 40+ years later, stayed true to its roots and lifelong fans. 

Devo is arguably one of the greatest rock and roll bands of our time (or any other).  Founded back in Akron, Ohio in 1973, they have evolved (or devolved, based on one’s point of view) over a storied career that changed music as we know it forever. Devo’s amazing musicianship, targeted satire, and love for one another has withstood the test of time. And four-decades later, these Spudboys are still doing what they love—on their terms.

On Saturday night at the newly minted YouTube Theater, Devo put on a musical clinic for the thousands in attendance under the sloping roof canopy of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. Founding members Mark Mothersbaugh (vocals/keyboards/guitar), Gerald Casale (bass/keyboards), and Bob Mothersbaugh (guitar), along with Josh Freese (drums) and Josh Hager (keyboards/guitar) electrified the Devo faithful with a 16-song setlist comprised of covers, classics, and a few surprises—including a Booji Boy sighting!

Fan favorites from the evening included “Whip It,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” and “Freedom of Choice.” My personal favorites were “Peek-a Boo” and “That’s Good” off of 1982’s Oh, No! It’s Devo, and “Beautiful World” (the show’s encore) from 1981’s New Traditionalists. I consider both of those album as soundtracks to my youth, and hearing those songs again immediately brought back so many incredible memories. Funny how music does that…

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