Devin Townsend made his long-awaited return to Belfast on Tuesday night (13th June), with an intense show at the city’s Limelight venue. Leading his namesake Devin Townsend Project through songs spanning the latest ten years of his lengthy career, the Canadian also threw in a few oldies for older fans, as well as a little toilet humour for good measure.
It may have been four years since he was last here, but the audience had lost no love for the returning PROGical son. Arriving on stage with outstretched arms, Townsend exclaimed; "Hey guys! Wanna be super awkward together? Well, you've come to the right place!", as opener ‘Rejoice!’ kicked off the evening.
Following straight into ‘Ocean Machine’ classic ‘Night’, the former Vai band member exclaimed; "Let's continue with something pretty", before launching into latest single ‘Stormbending’, to huge cheers.
Having just arrived in Belfast earlier in the day after having attended the Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards in London the night before, the DTP showed no signs of fatigue during their performance, to the delight of the five hundred-strong crowd.
With energy levels barely dipping, material from latest album ‘Transcendence’ mixed with vintage cuts like ‘Hyperdrive’ -"a song NOT about masturbation", and cult favourite ‘Deadhead’.
Matching the intensity of the music, Devin’s unique sense of humour meanwhile, shone throughout. Touching on one of his most popular works - 2007’s infamous 'Ziltoid the Omniscient' album, and spotting a Ziltoid hand puppet in the crowd, Townsend quipped; "One solidary Ziltoid; are you holding a metaphor for my penis?"
Foregoing traditional encore etiquette, the former Strapping Young Lad advised; "Okay guys, this is where you call us back" before leaving the stage. Strapping on an acoustic guitar for a solo run through ‘Addictied’, Devin exclaimed; “I'm so in love with you” to one amused audience member, before demanding that everyone “shuts the fuck up” as he proclaimed his love to the crowd as a whole via the song lyrics.
Re-introducing the rest of the band in time for closer ‘Higher’, it was a forthright Devin who proclaimed; "By the end of this song, we're getting fucking out of here". One of the Vancouver native’s epics, with its ebb and flow – from the serene to the hellish - it as the perfect note on which to end the night.
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Stay tuned for our EXCLUSIVE interview with Devin from Tuesday night's show.