Devin Townsend Project

Photos by Mark Derricutt

By Mark Derricutt

Date / Venue: Thursday May 18th, 2017 - The Powerstation, Auckland

"What are you going to fail at next?" I asked...  It was an odd sort of question, but it flowed with the context of the conversation - such went my interview with Devin Townsend earlier in the month, and it's a question that resonated within my own thoughts in the intervening weeks.

Since then I've failed to get a date - but that just means I've been asking people out. Since then I've failed at avoiding work when on leave - which means I've actually taken time off. Since then I've (again) failed at fitting in the ever constrictive photo pit at Auckland's Powerstation - and yet I walked away with an impressive set of photos from the evening.

Do you see the pattern? Failure isn't a bad thing, Devin taught us that it's how you deal with that failure, how you react, respond, and grow from it - and I'm discovering that failure doesn't only come when you try something new, the potential is everywhere, it's simply a part of "doing".

...and so it was that Devin Townsend failed once more - as with his last New Zealand appearance in 2010 for "Addicted" - Devin Townsend failed to disappoint.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves though - the show opened with Australian instrumental progressive heavyweights 'sleepmakeswaves' delivering a progressive bent on post-rock instrumental vibes - with music that just flowed as well as rocked, a new fan was born right here! The band packs a tight performance with expansive sound.

Now it's time for the main act - Canada's self-proclaimed "Prog Metal Posturer" graces the stage with a distinctive jetlagged, semi-self-aware, comedic set of speeches between songs.

Rejoice / Night / Stormbending all went by in by in a "3 songs, no flash" blur as I crept amongst the massive throng of fans. Having failed to fit the pit entrance I was relegated to the depths of mayhem - running into friends and catching glimpses of people I knew as I made my way to find the best shots I could.

With photos out of the way (no failure here!) I could settle down, relax, and enjoy the show. With an impressive set list covering the whole gamut of the both "The Devin Townsend Project" and Devin's solo work - we were treated to an evening of cacophonous melodies, facial expressions that only a mother and a fan could adore, along with an impressive lighting setup giving me heavy Sci-Fi vibes.

The Devin Townsend Project delivered on everything I could have wanted in a show - and then it ended.

Or did it? The "prog metal posturer" diligently informs us they're playing the final song, but "to play the part" we have to wait for them to leave, call them back, and play 3 more songs. It's all part of the game, isn't it? We know this is how it goes, and yet - everyone always seems surprised. Not tonight!

Set List:

* Rejoice (Z2 - Sky Blue)
* Night
* Stormbending (Transcendence)
* Failure (Transcendence)
* Hyperdrive (Addicted / Ziltoid The Omniscient)
* Where We Belong (Epicloud)
* Deadhead (Accelerated Evolution)
* Ziltoid Goes Home (Z2 - Dark Matters)
* Supercrush (Addicted)
* March Of The Poozers (Z2 - Dark Matters)
* Kingdom (Physicist)
 
Encore:

* IH-AH (Addicted)
* Bastard
* Higher (Transcendence