- A wonderful soundboard recording of a complete first album tour show. General Boy is on hand to give live introductions. If it sounds familiar, it’s because some of the live performances in The Men Who Make the Music were video taped at this show. Also worth nothing that a really fantastic soundboard recording of the 1978-12-07 – Bristol, UK – Colston Hall performance is available through DiscLive as a bonus disc with any of their 2012 tour CDs.
- The 1979 tour was notable for including a smattering of songs that were never recorded in these arrangements (or at all): Softcore Mutations (which would become Going Under), Those Darn Girls (written by Genral Jackett), In Heaven Everything is Fine (Booji Boy singing a song from David Lynch’s Eraserhead), and The One that Gets Away (which would mutate into the opening theme on the New Traditionalists tour). The band plays fast and the sound is gritty. This is a great audience recording of a complete show, with a few minor cuts to a few songs. After carefully comparing this recording with 1979-08-04, I felt like this one had a bit of sonic edge and that the cuts were so minor that it wasn’t a big issue.
- DEVO’s 1980 tour was the one that broke big, and this is an excellent-sounding FM broadcast of a complete US tour show. (Note: The European leg of the tour featured Penetration in the Centerfold in the setlist.) Unfortunately, Booji Boy’s showcase song, Tunnel of Life, is absent from the recording of this show. In its place, a soundboard recording of the song from 1980-08-17 – Petaluma, CA is included. This represents a complete setlist. Don’t forget that an official release of DEV-O Live is essential in any collection.
- The band is on fire here in New York City on the New Traditionalists tour. From this tour forward, Beautiful World would become Booji Boy’s showcase song, rather than a new one for each tour. This is the xMMx revision of source 1 of the concert, giving the cleanest sound possible for this complete audience recording. Of course, a true fan owns New Traditionalists: Live in Seattle 1981, because it sounds much better than any bootleg.
1982-11-11 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre [Tour Essentials edition]
- One of DEVO’s most sonically-interesting tours was thankfully preserved in a beautiful-sounding, nearly-complete soundboard recording. For this Tour Essentials collection, I’ve patched in the missing sections of the show from an audience recording of 1982-12-29, which is the best-sounding audience tape from the tour, in an effort to provide a complete 1982 tour listening experience.
- The band’s return to the stage after a 6-year break, in a back-to-basic kind of format. Familiar songs were given makeovers. This is a complete audience recording featuring songs that didn’t make it onto Now It Can Be Told, which of course is the best-sounding document of the tour, but you should own that already anyway.
- DEVO’s cut-short SmoothNoodleMaps tour covered a good portion of Europe. This audience tape from Sweden provides the best record of a complete show from the era. Many songs played on this tour never returned to the setlist again. Booji Boy did not appear on this tour.
- After taking another 6 years off the road, the band went out for a handful of Lollapalooza shows and played a very short “greatest hits” type set. The band found the response surprisingly positive. A complete video of a 1996 show was released on DVD as DEVO Live.
- The band went out again for Lollapalooza the following year. The set remained largely the same, but introduced That’s Good at the start of the set, which was preceded by a new pre-recorded instrumental intro that would continue to open the set until the Something for Everybody tour in 2010.
- Although the band played one-off shows and mini-tours between 1997 and here, and only played two headlining shows in 2004, this show represented a few significant things for DEVO at this time. This was the first time since 1991 that a DEVO concert was not part of another event or larger tour. The show was completely sold out, which they repeated for their Chicago show that followed in September. The success of these two shows directly led to the band going out on the road for themselves so frequently from 2005-2008. This show was also significant because Booji Boy returned to the stage to sing Beautiful World for the first time since 1999, where he supposedly “retired”. Spuds were glad to have him back. This setlist also represents the most “complete” set of songs that were in the band’s repertoire at the time. This excellent soundboard recording comes from an out-of-print semi-official release.
- DEVO’s first nationwide US tour since 1988, and the first “deep cuts” were introduced into the set after being “greatest hits” focused since 1996. Going Under returned for the first time since 1990 (though it was played at Sundance in 1996), and Wiggly World came back for the first time since 1978 (though it was played a small handful of times in 1979). A great audience recording of a great show.
- This mini-tour in the fall of 2006 offered even more goodies for returning fans: Peek-A-Boo returned for the first time since 1982, and Secret Agent Man for the first time since 1980 (though the band played it for a young fan once in 2005). But that’s not all: For the first time on a tour, Booji Boy did not sing Beautiful World. Instead, Osama Bin Laden had apparently beheaded Booji Boy, prompting Jihad Jerry (whose album had just come out) to sing the song instead. Mark played keyboards, and Bob 2 played (a very heavy metal) bass. This is a solid audience recording of a very cool show on Halloween in LA. Although Beautiful World would go back to Booji Boy at shows 2007-2008, the setlist largely remained the same.
- DEVO wowed longtime fans in 2009 by playing their first and third albums in their entirety over the course of two nights in each city. A number of songs from both albums hadn’t been performed since 1977, 1978, or 1980, and many songs from Freedom of Choice had never been played before at all. Most songs played on this tour have never been played again. All of the songs sounds absolutely fantastic in these arrangements captured here in strong audience recordings. And while these two recordings go together hand in hand, one really must own the 2009 Warner Bros. reissue of Are We Not Men for the full soundboard recording of the debut performance of the full album from 2009-05-06 in London.
- In support of the band’s first new album in 20 years, Warner Bros. pulled out all the stops… Actually, they just gave up and booked the band on a Spinal Tap-esque tour that included such venues as this zoo (which sounds great!) and the Ohio State Fair. Even so, this is an excellent recording of a setlist that has been given a total makeover for the first time in many years. Three songs from the new album, Planet Earth sticking around in the set.
- The band would continue to play here and there with a version of the SFE tour setilst through 2013. Here’s another solid recording of the band from that time.
2012 – Whip it to Shreds Tour
- DEVO’s 2012 Whip it to Shreds tour, co-headlining with Blondie, has many excellent soundboard recordings available for purchase at DiscLive.
2014 – Hardcore DEVO Live
- DEVO’s jaw-dropping 2014 Hardcore tour was something to behold for all fans. Songs we never thought we’d see played on stage were revived and sounded amazing. Fortunately, the band and MVD Audio knew that we needed excellent documentation of this, and so the superb Hardcore Live! album was released. No show from this tour is included in the pack because none of them offer any advantage over this in-print album.
Please support DEVO and buy all official releases that you can. This stimulates more and better releases.