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DEVO in Portland

Live at Pioneer Courthouse Square for NIKE -8/1/04
plus: The DEVO After Party at Dantes with GVC & The Punk Group

(click images for larger view & info)

NIKE RACE EVENT Portland, OR - AUG.1st, 2004

Mark Mothersbaugh's Beautiful Mutants art show opening reception was
held the night before, and we'd been up late with members of the band
and crew enjoying some downtime in Portland. This didn't dampen
our excitement about the impending DEVO concert.

We met the band at their hotel at 8:30am, and then walked to the venue, Pioneer Courthouse Square. Like the L.A. show in April, this was another
early-morning DEVO concert for NIKE, and the weather was perfect.

As we got closer to where DEVO's stage was set, we started to see thousands of blue-shirted runners gathering for the beginning of the race. It was surreal... and I couldn't help but think that every one of these runners has "DEVO" on their shirt. Did they even know what it meant, or it's relevance in '04? I doubt it.

As the 5K & 10K races came to an end, the runners crossed the finish
line and made their way into the square, along with a mix of
hardcore Devotees, Nike employees, and curious bystanders.

After what seemed like hours of pointless banter from several banal
personalities onstage, the impatient crowd finally overpowered them
with shouts for DEVO to begin. Stopped in their tracks, the babblers
left the stage, and DEVO started their set at around 9:30am.

Gerald V. Casale made sure people know how relevant DEVO is
during this election year. "Does everybody agree that we're much
more Devolved than we were 4 years ago? Can you believe
that are country is run by an evil moron? "
The crowd responded
with mostly cheers and a few jeers. Devolution is Real.

The band was in full swing and seemed to be having a good time, even
though Mark and others in the band & crew were suffering from a cold
bug they picked up in NYC. Still, the spuds performed their duties and
entertained thousands with classics like Girl U Want, Blockhead, Gates
Of Steel, Satisfaction
, and finishing with Come Back Jonee.

By 11:30am, we were walking with the band & crew to get lunch at their
hotel. Mark had to leave immediately for LA to finish a movie scoring
project, but the rest of the band were staying in Portland for a while
longer. Jerry Casale had a party to go to later that night.

The after-party was held the same night at Dante's nightclub, featuring
The Punk Group and the SINFERNO strip-tease/performance group.

By 9pm, the club was filled with spuds eager to celebrate
Devolution, and to see how low they could go with De-Vo.

The Punk Group started promptly at 10pm... or as Jerry would say
later that night, "The Ubiquitous Punk Group!" Their set was tight,
and their fans in the crowd sang along to a few classics like Fat
Girls On Bicycles, Shut Up And Dance
, and Sleater Kinney Sucks.
I even saw a couple guys in the audience who were dressed up like
The Punk Group, complete with white sunglasses & wristbands.

Jerry Casale was there to sing as special guest on The Punk Group's
cover of That's Good, which couldn't have pleased the crowd more.

The Punk Group was followed by SINFERNO, a strip-show/freak show
starring The Porcelain Twins (of Playboy fame). One young woman
performed as a robot goddess, painted silver with an expressionless
mask, and complete with light-up nipples. She stripped & pranced
around a spinning robot toy in the middle of the stage, and eventually
destroyed it with her bare hands. This was accompanied by DEVO's
hardcore-era song, Space Girl Blues. The song was unsettling/perfect.

As the night came to an end, Jerry was preparing to leave when one
Devo fan challenged him to a friendly dance competition. Twitches
& hops were exchanged, and Jerry held his own against the younger
spud... and both seemed to have as much fun as we had watching them.

Monday morning gave way to more press coverage of the show we'd
just witnessed a day before. Here's what we found while in Oregon



OREGONIAN (pre show): Part 1Part 2

OREGONIAN (post show): Part 1Part 2


See you in Chicago next month..

Michael Pilmer • Devo-Obsesso.com

Thanks to everyone who supplied photos for this report.