Devin Townsend Project – Ziltoid Live at The Royal Albert Hall

Before attending this concert, MonkHammer visited a quaint little British pub round the corner from the Royal Albert Hall that was unusually full of leather, denim, beer guts, mullets, skullets and comb-overs. At the bar, we were informed by a sweaty, frantic barman that all but one of the beers had run out. As usual, the staff had checked the RAH listings well in advance to gauge what stock they would need, but since none of them had ever heard of Devin Townsend, they figured it was no big deal… Big mistake, but they weren’t the only ones caught off guard that night, for whilst everyone in attendance knew they were in for something special, it’s hard to convey just what a religious experience the show actually was, captured here on CD, DVD and Blu-ray. Split in two halves, the show starts with the ‘Ziltoid 2: Dark Matters’ album, re-created in full in all its vivid technicolour glory. There are puppets, special guests, choirs and giant screens that dwarf the band to create a huge overwhelming cinematic experience, soundtracked by a ludicrous heavy metal opera about a coffee-loving alien and a giant farting ballbag. Following that, a by-request set of classics, fan favourites and rarities that sways from bombastic power pop to delicate ballad, all underpinned by that unmistakable Hevy Devy scream. From start to finish, every song seems more uplifting than the last as the band fill the venue with a joyous warmth that is rarely seen exuding from music as huge as this. The band share smiles, laughs, jokes and knowing glances throughout, and are clearly having the time of their lives on stage whilst simultaneously keeping everything tighter than a gnat’s chuff. In truth, the fact that they are so tight makes the triple-CD somewhat redundant if you already own the music. It’s the DVD/Blu-ray where you really get a sense of quite what an occasion this was, a two and a half hour orgiastic explosion of whimsy, beauty, power and love and a show that simply will not be bettered for quite some time.

Devin live



Categories: Album Reviews, Live Reviews, Reviews

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