Seymour Centre, Sydney NSW
September 13th 2019
Support: Mood lighting and a cute Kiwi puppet
All-round awesome human and metal legend Devin Townsend is down in Australia for a small run of acoustic shows, and I was lucky enough to get in with the sold out audience at the Seymour Centre in Sydney for what was an enjoyable evening.
This was one for and made up of the more dedicated fans of Devin Townsend, with a relaxed, almost family-like setting. More than just a straight run through of Dev’s acoustic numbers – it was part unplugged session, part Q&A, and part stand up show, as the more Dev relaxed and settled into the gig, the more he opened to the audience. The close, intimate stage setting allowed Dev to have some great great back and forth with the audience, letting us into the mind of the guy who’s really (to use his words a little) just a bald Canadian hippie who happens to love metal.
We had some musical surprises however, opening with ‘Funeral’, Devin dove into a vast back catalogue for some crowd favourites and his own picks, including ‘Ih-Ah!’, ‘Hyperdrive’ and ‘Coast’, along with ‘Why?’ from Empath. Fans of Strapping Young Lad would have also delighted in a stripped-back version of ‘Love’, proving that behind the chaos of extreme metal is some well-structured songs.
Beyond the music, we were treated to Dev’s upbeat and quirky humour, sharing jokes and a few stories as he did his best to answer questions submitted by the audience. After an intermission, Devin returned to the small and open stage brandishing a cute little Kiwi puppet he’d received as a gift, and after some more back and forth from the close audience, gave us a few more songs, including a cool rendition of ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Misérables. (Who said metalheads aren’t cultured?)
Some more questions followed, allowing Devin and audience members to share in some more personal moments, along with jokes aplenty that helped to bond the room together. As time got away from us Dev closed the night off with a couple more tunes, ending with a crowd singalong for ‘Life’, before bidding everyone a good night, having also hinted during the evening for a possible return soon with a band in tow to play Empath in full. (As Dev joked, this one-man show is helping to finance such a thing by ‘keeping overheads low.’)
If tonight’s friendly and enjoyable atmosphere was anything to go by, it will be worth the wait.
Gig Review by Simon Valentine (@SimonValentine1)
An Evening With Devin Townsend – Acoustic Australian Tour
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 15 @ FREO SOCIAL, PERTH