Devin Townsend Project

Wacken - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Surviving, more or less, to the final day of Wacken felt like something worth celebrating, and what better band to do it with than the Devin Townsend Project?

“Fuck all that evil bullshit, it’s time for science!”
- Devin Townsend (vocals/guitar)

Devin Townsend and his vagabond crew of excellent musicians were in charge of fun and games on the True Metal Stage for a while in the warm midday sun, and an impressive amount of people were up and about, all ready to have fun together with him.
The band started the show off with a cover – well, sort of anyway. The song was after all one of Devin Townsend’s own, but written for one of his other constellations – the song was Seventh Wave from the Ocean Machine: Biomech album. Pretty quickly we gathered that this would, most regrettably, be another one of those Wacken concerts where bass and drums reigns supreme and the rest of the instruments, as well as vocals to some degree, have to take a backseat. I really do hope that the sound was better elsewhere in the crowd, but up in the front it really took a bullet straight to the head.

“We’re from Canada, we’re sorry for fucking everything!”
- Townsend (vocals/guitar)

The band was apparently working completely without other recognisable traits as well, as they performed completely without a stage setup (something that is more and more common at Wacken where the large stages really lends themselves to extravagant details) or even a backdrop announcing the band-name and/or logo!
This last part it was soon enough revealed though, was actually yet another one of Wacken’s technical mess-ups, as the large light-screen finally lit up some three/four songs in. Electrical devices were definitely not on dear Devin Townsend’s side this day!

“What a splendid day this is!”
- Townsend (vocals/guitar)

If the electrics weren’t working quite as they should, they were at least the only thing doing so this day, and in the end you could always return to good old physical effects, right?
That’s at least what someone in the crowd felt, as they raised a sock-puppet version of Ziltoid high in the air – this was immediately noticed by Townsend who grinned from ear to ear and greeted the omniscient ruler with all due respect.
Clearly, Townsend and all the rest of the guys in the band were in a great mood this day, and it shone through in such a way that no one could have doubted it even for a second. Townsend is usually chatty at gigs, but his constant commenting both between and during songs this day was something completely off the chart. It was always positive though, and delivered with a great sense for including the audience instead of talking down to them. In fact, I daresay that I have never seen anyone with such an eye for what was going on in the crowd as Townsend had – whatever that happened, he was all over it within seconds, sending kisses, greetings and general wackiness left and right.

“Here’s a heavy metal love-song because nerds have feelings too.”
- Townsend (vocals/guitar)

And the crowd loved him for it!
It only took a song before some girl threw her bra up to the stage (it didn’t reach its goal though, and instead ended up in the arms of a security guy who seemed a bit confounded over this new acquisition), and in addition to more usual festival behaviour such as the circlepit (because this is what you do at festivals, the man commented) and some crowd surfing, the band managed to create a very impressive wave, and the biggest group hug the festival has ever seen!
Since we were so good at playing along, the band gave it an extra arm and leg as well, where they mentioned that we should pay extra good attention to Planet Of The Apes as this was the last time ever this particular song would be played live (let’s see), and when they reached the end of their setlist but noticed that they had some more time on their hands, Townsend said that we should spend some time getting better acquainted with the people around us while they (the band) put their heads together and discussed what song they should throw in as a bonus!

“We are all old and fat hippies, but we’re still metal!”
- Townsend (vocals/guitar)

We had come in search of a celebration, and a celebration was what we found – a celebration of all that is good and positive, all neatly packed and gift-wrapped in a concert that could only actually get better if the technical stuff had been in order. The band gave us a flawless performance as far as their abilities and control stretched, and we were off to a perfect start of the day.


Seventh Wave (Devin Townsend cover)
War (Devin Townsend cover)
By Your Command (Devin Townsend cover)
Deadhead (Devin Townsend cover)
Planet Of The Apes
Kingdom (Devin Townsend cover)
Bad Devil (Devin Townsend cover)

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