For over two decades Devin Townsend has been producing his unique “old man Canadian passive-aggressive core” (that is how he described it at the gig)! Through Strapping Young Lad, his solo work, and the current “Devin Townsend Project” he has produced music full of intercity, energy, and vibrant charisma. If this concert is anything to go by, he has lost none of these over the 20 odd years, and may even have more than before!

Sleepmakeswaves opened up the show amazingly with their special brand of instrumental prog metal. Exerting massive amounts of energy and bringing out vibrant sounds they showed once again that singers can be an optional extra. There was a certain stage presence to the four members as they each poured tons of emotion into their delivery. Seamlessly working their way around quite dark ambience and blasting heavy metal they drew the crowd in from the very beginning and kept them all engaged and banging for the whole set!

The Devin Townsend Project followed with Devin announcing things were going to be very “cheesy” and a bit “awkward” and then noting “if you listen to my music you’re probably a bit of a nerd so just roll with it!”

The set ranged from tracks from the 1997 Ocean Machine Album including the high speed and intense ‘Night’ and the slow and melancholic epic ‘Bastard’ all the way to tracks off the Project’s most recent album. There was also a range in styles from the stripped back acoustic piece ‘Ih-Ah’ to the full on metal sounds of Strapping Young Lads’ ‘Shitstorm’.

In each extreme and everything in between, Devon and his Project exerted electrifying life with a tight and intense set backed with epic atmosphere. On top of this the band we’re all clearly having a lot of fun which translated into a hugely entertaining show.

In addition to the music, Mr Townsend showed off his phenomenal stage presence. Adopting many “cheesy” elements of rock and roll while making fun of himself. Other times he broke from his metal persona to take on a Henry Rollins-esq spoken word segments, generally talking about peace and love and how he has grown from his angry 25-year old Strapping Young Lad days. The great charismatic act coupled with sharp Canadian wit allowed the gig to cut through the intense sounds and bring in some humour and even more fun to the show!

This was an exceptional show! Sleepmakeswaves put out one of the best support act sets ever, mesmorising the crowd from the word go with their vivid and atmospheric progressive metal. Meanwhile the Devin Townsend Project poured out an epic feast of entertainment with every facet of prog-rock/metal Mr Townsend’s ever dabbled in, held together with his charismatic stage presence and sharp tongued wit!

Remaining Devin Townsend/sleepmakeswaves dates below. Check out Devin Townsend’s website to find out more!
Monday 22nd May – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Tuesday 23rd May – 170 Russell, Melbourne
Wednesday 24th May – 170 Russell, Melbourne – SOLD OUT
Friday 26th May – Capitol, Perth