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DEVO performed 3 live shows in California in August & September 2008. Since I was not able to attend these shows myself, this report consists of content from fans who contributed. Thanks, Comrades!

Read the text in this large middle column first, then go to the first thumbnail image at the top left, and click through the pages for a chronological journey through the photos.

- Michael Pilmer for DEVO, Inc.


8.30.08: Del Mar, CA

Show Report By Marc Friedman:

On August 30, 2008, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club held its Microbrew Festival, and featured DEVO for its post-race entertainment. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is a beautiful horse racing track less than a quarter mile from the beach in Southern California. Twenty breweries set up for a day filled with racing and the concert to follow.

Spuds such as Ness started arriving around 1pm in time for sound check. Emerald arrived soon after. With the first race at 2pm, many race attendees were already getting into their seats in the grandstand for the race. The stage was located inside the ring created by the track, and people had already entered the center area through the underground tunnel to camp out in lawn chairs for the concert.

At about 3:30, I went to go test-drive connecting my laptop with the laptop Alex Brunelle had at the DEVOtional 2008 fan gathering in Ohio, happening at the same time as DEVO's show in Del Mar. I had brought along my laptop as “Plan B” in the one-in-a-million case that Mark’s laptop didn’t work for the scheduled video conference. I finally found the dressing room, and got a huge kick out of one of the security staff holding out her vinyl copy of New Traditionalists for me to sign – not sure who she thought I looked like, but I informed her that I wasn’t in the band and was just setting up. It’s a good thing Alex had called as early as he did, because it took over an hour and a half to establish the connection and debug a bunch of software issues on my end.

Meanwhile, back at the stage, Vahe of Nu-Tra, Canuck, Spudess Jane and Gordon Keller Jr. had set up camp waiting for the show to begin. Okay, fine - my bud Gordon Keller was there too, but I swear he’s like Snuffleupagus – there’s always photographic proof of GK2 at events, but never pictures of his Dad (GK2 is my new nickname for Gordon Jr. – help me make it stick – a kid that cool deserves a nickname that you can fit on the side of a sports drink bottle) . Although I’d love to start rumors that GK2 just hitchhikes alone to and from DEVO concerts and uses the ol’ made-up “My Dad will be right back” line anytime someone accuses him of being there alone, Dad was definitely there and happily showing no outwardly visible signs of his motorcycle accident last year.

Even before the concert, it became clear that this crowd was a little different. I’m not talking about the numerous Energy-Domed people who were “pre-embryo” when DEVO’s last album was released, although that was extremely cool to see. I’m talking about how many rude people there were. One guy walked right up to the front into a space Jane and Emerald were saving, and after being told that the occupant had left for a moment, replied, “I don’t see anyone. Guess it’s my space now.” Someone angrily accused Snuffleupagus of making up an imaginary son just to get to the front. I had someone accuse me of B.S.ing when I was working my way back to the front. Samantha Casale, daughter of Bob & Lisa Casale, came out from backstage with a couple of friends to take photos of the crowd, and when they waved at the crowd, the crowd actually booed them. So it wasn’t the biggest surprise in the world when more security guards then I’ve ever seen at a DEVO concert took their places between the front barrier and the stage.

There’s an expression known as The Five Ps – Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance. Well, it turns out that the one-in-a-million chance of something going wrong actually happened, and we needed to use my laptop for the video conference after all. Jerry, Mark and Bob 1 sat on a couch and answered questions while Neil (who was drumming) and Bob 2 continued to get ready for the show. For about twenty minutes, DEVO fielded questions from the DEVOtional confirming, among other things, a) that the DEVO Airport Survival Kit is going to happen, and b) that the new album is going to happen.

And then the concert began. Some say it was because the band was still pumped from their Australia/Japan tour; although Jerry later credited the Del Mar crowd (which was huge – see photos); but whatever the reason, this was easily the most energetic DEVO concert in recent years. Bob 1 joined in the choreography during Peek*A*Boo by moving his outstretched arms from directly overhead towards his sides in time with “Ha Ha Ha Ha”. And it’s amazing how much of a difference in mood it makes when Jerry and Bob 2, who usually raise their hands up towards the sides of their heads during “Ha Ha Ha Ha” in a sort of “everything is going up in smoke” mood, instead lower their hands from the sides of their heads towards the audience in an accusatory “the joke’s on you” manner. A small change but a great one. Jerry may have set a new personal record for Degrees of Rotation Per Second during his Satisfaction (I Can’t Get No) spins.

The version of Going Under played that night was phenomenal. As Alex Brunelle described it, it had “…a really stellar intensity.” A very good quality crowd recording can still be found here.

The reason for the large number of security staff quickly became clear. In addition to the many crowd surfers pulled over the rail, at least three fights broke out that required security to actually come from around the barrier into the crowd to grab and expel the offenders. There were times that those of us at the front literally couldn’t see the stage because of the wall of security guards who had jumped up onto the barrier step to get a better look at disturbances in the crowd.

Booji Boy was amazed at the horse races, and asked the crowd if they got rich. He promised that when DEVO gets rich and buys their own race track, the crowd is invited to come over and ride horses. He asked Jerry about the story Jerry told him about a guy who was riding his horse backwards, causing Jerry to burst into laughter (I am still *dying* to hear the rest of the joke – judging by Booji’s “I can’t remember it now – I’ll tell you later”, I’m sure it wasn’t exactly PG-13”.)

Lastly, a post-race analysis shows that betting only on the three horses with DEVO-related names, Donttellmewhattodo, Stroppy (close enough to a cross between “Stroft” and “Sloppy”), and Bob’s Your Uncle, would have paid nearly 6-to-1! Coincidence? I think not.

Duty Now,
Marc Friedman


9.20.08: San Diego, CA - Street Scene

This show came up very unexpectedly, with DEVO being hired to perform in place of The Black Crowes, who had to drop out of the show at the last minute. We found out only a few days before the show, which didn't give us time to ship any DEVO merchandise for Spuds to acquire at the concert.

Tom Matthews, an old friend of DEVO, attended the show and snapped a few photos for us. Tom worked with DEVO on their Total DEVO tour managing their merch. Marc Friedman also shot a few photos and wrote the report below. Thanks, Marc & Tom!

Show Report By Marc Friedman:

The area in front of the stage was packed, and the audience was mostly the under-25 crowd. Overall, this was one of the most energetic DEVO shows I've ever seen. The crowd loved it. They went absolutely ape shit when Bob 1 snapped his strings. Mark replaced "Club DEVO" with "San Diego" in Going Under. Standard set list. Josh on drums. Booji Boy talked about how DEVO got the S.O.S. (in reference to them being the last-minute replacement headliners for The Black Crowes who canceled), turned around their bicycles and started pedaling for San Diego.

Interesting bits of the night:

- The Hives gave a nod to the fact that they were stoked to be able to watch DEVO after their turn on the stage.
- Mark secretly poured water into his Tyvek before throwing it into the crowd amidst the accompanying spray of water.
- Jerry sometimes played *angry*. I don't mean pissed off - I mean that hard-core rocker teeth-baring fire-eyed "I'm going to tear this bass guitar a new asshole" look on his face angry. That may have been the best I've ever seen Jerry.
- As That's Good ended, Mark was standing about 5 feet directly to Jerry's left - as the low rhythmic synth of Going Under started, they both marched backwards in tandem *very* much recalling the synchronized treadmills from the New Traditionalists tour. Unexpected and VERY cool choreography!
- Booji Boy bounced one handful of rubber balls a little too short, and they ricocheted off the stage ceiling at the same time as some rubber balls from a previous handful were being thrown back onto the stage by fans. The result is that, for just a few moments (and I'm not even sure he was completely aware of all of it), Bob 1 was surrounded by about 20 rubber balls flying up and down all around him - hilarious.

A funny part was the HAMMERED guy next to me yelling "Mongoloid" as DEVO was getting ready to come on. I kept telling him that it was going to be in the set. Once again he started yelling "MONGOLOID" five minutes later. So, they finally play Mongoloid and the guy's in heaven. Gates of Steel finishes, and the audience starts yelling for an encore, including "Ten-Second Tom" next to me yelling "MONGOLOID!"

Duty Now,

9.27.08: Irvine, CA - Jack FM Show

DEVO joined a long list of other artists, including Billy Idol, Twisted Sister and Blondie, for this Jack FM sponsored festival show.
Thanks to Kevin Baldes and Shant (Archie's Ice Cream) for snapping a few photos and contributing them to this report.

Special thanks to everyone who supplied info & photos!
Extra special thanks to Michael Browne for his proofing skills!

- Michael Pilmer for Devo, Inc.