I was told before attending last night's concert that it was going to be crazy and awesome, so I knew I was in for a nice treat. However, I was completely unprepared for the epic show that I witnessed. Each time I recall fragments of it I wear a big smile on my face. I will start by telling you about the end of the concert: all I saw was people wearing the biggest concert smiles ever and saying 'Wow'. I heard so many 'Wow's on the way to the subway that I know those amazing good mood vibes were transmitted to everyone in the audience.
Before reading the rest of the review, I recommend you watch the ending video of the show, Bend it like Bender, when the crowd was invited on stage and the song turned into the apogee of a fantastic evening:
The fun at Betong in Oslo began even before Devin Townsend and his project came on stage. Maybe even during the opening act, which I unfortunately missed. When I got there, 5 minutes before the end of their show, the venue was pretty much packed and the first few rows were already occupied and people were cheering for Devin. And then they were given the right music to do their cheering and to practice their dance skills (needed later during the concert) — we had Aqua and Barbie Girl, Beyonce with Put a ring on it, Abba with Chiquita and a few others I don't recall, as opening tracks. It was incredibly fun to watch the metalheads singing “I'm a Barbie Girl”.
Already having the feeling that something special was about to happen on stage that night, the crowd was very enthusiastic when the Ziltoid logo appeared on the screens on the stage and the Ziltoid puppet begun its hilarious speech, explaining what it's about to happen and making us understand it's not going to be an ordinary concert. And right it was. The 4 members of the band took their places, and Devin simply charmed everyone with his energy and the joy transmitted through all his gestures. Every second there was another expression on his face. A smile, a mouth wide open either as surprised, as a mad man or as a full mouth laughter. And more or less every moment that he didn't spend singing by his microphone, licking his nipple or picking his nose or telling us jokes, he stepped in front of the stage, leaning forward to the crowd, and the crowd was thrilled to pet his head or his nose. He even went down from the stage and let himself embraced by enthusiastic hands. We heard stories about his marriage, we were told secrets from the list of the moves in rock music, we were asked to acknowledge the fact that the band would leave the stage and come back for an encore and pretend that we are not aware of that. For the last song (which was a “real” encore, as the crowd wouldn't stop yelling his name), Devin invited the crowd on the stage. There were plenty of people taking advantage of the request and making Bend it like Bender one of the most epic things I've seen live. Everyone was dancing on the overcrowded stage, people got microphones to sing and Devin Townsend was just going from one end to the other of the stage to play his guitar next to everyone.
I wish I could remember the speeches of the Ziltoid puppets, or the ones between songs. They were crazy, maybe sexually offensive if you take things too seriously, but I am pretty sure almost no one in the audience did. I wish I could tell you something about the other members of the band. However, with all my respect for them and their skills (the music sounded incredibly good), most of my attention was focused on the frontman. The music was a journey through fast, progressive, almost dance rhythms from the albums released with his previous projects, all blended with the sweet slower stuff from Addicted or Ki. As far as I recall, the playlist included: Addicted!, Supercrush!, Truth, OM, Life, By your command, Kingdom, Earth day, Color your World, Deep Peace and Bend it like Bender.
This was one of the best live experiences someone can witness, hence I strongly recommend everyone to take any chance they might have to see this man live. If it's all theatre, then the performance is perfect. If it's all based on feeling and the joy of being on stage, then that is what live music should be about at any concert. It was incredible, and I have to send my biggest thanks to Devin Townsed and his project, and to the organisers who made this concert possible.
By Andrea Chirulescu