Amplifier Bar, Perth WA
May 26th 2017
Supported by: Sleepmakeswaves
Rejoice! Devin Townsend is back! With Perth the last stop on his Australian tour, the amazing Canadian brought all the noise.
One of the loudest things he brought along was Sydney’s Sleepmakeswaves. The four-piece returned to Perth, having just played on a headline tour a couple of months ago. That tour saw them tear the roof off Badlands Bar, so now it was Amplifier’s turn to feel the power. From the reaction the boys received, there were plenty of fans to see this incredible support act. Sleepmakeswaves create heavy metal orchestral walls of sound with no need for pesky vocals. It’s sometimes hard to believe that in their 40 odd minute set they only played 5 songs, but it’s quality over quantity with the band and I for one couldn’t think of a better fit than to have them on tour with the genre-defying Townsend.
It’s nearly impossible to describe a Devin Townsend show without going full fanboy. In short, the man is a genius. He doesn’t just write songs, he crafts them, nurturing every note, every beat, every lyric. His shows are the same, a finally crafted cacophony of sound. Everything feels rehearsed yet spontaneous at the same time.
From the opening set, including ‘Rejoice‘, ‘Night‘ and the quite brilliant ‘Stormbending‘, Townsend had the packed Amplifier bar in the palm of his hand. Everyone was under The spell of Heavy Devy, from the dreadlocked dude at the bar to the vacant blonde at the back. All eyes were on the stage.
From screaming falsetto to death growls, floating sounds scapes to face melting metal, this show had it all. And in between it all Devin Townsend, the clown prince of heavy metal regaled punters with humorous anecdotes about his penis, Hungry Jacks burgers and life on the road. He quite honestly has the most animated face of anyone I’ve ever seen. He’s like an oversized live action Animaniac with a guitar, and by God can he play it. It’s all about the music; everything else is just a sideshow. Devin’s talents aside, he’s surrounded himself with a clutch of amazing musicians in the form of The Project (or the ‘P’ as he refers to them). Each member of the ‘P’ was introduced in a very Townsend way, completely over the top and ridiculous. Dave Young on guitar, Brian Waddell on bass, Mike St-Jean handling keyboards, synth and the multitude of programming needed for the samples and backing tracks. Finally, we meet (RVP), Ryan Van Poederooyen on drums. This man is a freak of nature behind a kit, his playing at times so fast the double kick morphed into a single wall of sound, sweeping all in its wake.
This being the final set of the current tour, Townsend’s voice may have been showing signs of wear, and even though the great man did apologise, there was no need. Even at 90% Townsend’s voice is still something to behold.
With his uncanny ability to improvise and regale his audience with ridiculous stories, the roars of laughter were almost as loud as the cheers between songs. Is there anything this man can’t do? The answer is probably yes, but I haven’t found it yet.
One thing is for sure, with Townsend a frequent visitor to our shores there’s no doubt it won’t be long until we see his genius again.
Review by Gareth Williams
Photo gallery courtesy of Emanuel Rudnicki (Emanuel Rudnicki Photography)
Please credit Wall of Sound and Emanuel Rudnicki if you repost.