There were Devo hats as far as the eye could see at Pier 17 this week on a beautiful Spring night in lower Manhattan. After having a few cancellations the past few years due to COVID, Devo finally got to play New York City to a very enthusiastic crowd on Mark Mothersbaugh’s 72nd birthday. The night began with a pre-show video staring Rob Rooter, a little older but none the wiser, letting the crowd know Devo still aren’t cool and how he has no idea how they are still going.
With that, Josh Hager and Josh Freese took the stage, followed soon by original members Bob Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale. They started playing “Don’t Shoot (I’m a Man)” and then Mark took the stage and for the next hour and a half the band barely took a breath or stood still. The band started in all black for the first of 4 costumes. Phones went in the air early for “Whip It,” with the band donning the famous head gear. The band then left the stage with a video playing and when they came back on, the famous yellow outfits were on. There wildly weird take on “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones and the famous single “Secret Agent Man” were next. The yellow suits were then ripped off each member, partially by themselves and partially by Mark during “Uncontrollable Urge.”
Before “Jocko Homo,” Gerald addressed the crowd talking about how de-evolution is real and if you look all around you from the Supreme Court to Congress to Russia to the world at large, things are not going correctly. He then said we better get ourselves together or a lot of our freedoms our going to be the way of the past soon. They then launched into the song with the crowd roaring back in a call in response with the lines “Are we not men? We are Devo.” “DEVO Corporate Anthem” played over the PA while they changed yet again to having letters on their chest and then launched into “Freedom of Choice” much to the crowd’s delight, with Gerald once again stating how bad things are and how we need to have a course correction.
The show ended with “Beautiful World” with Booji Boy, aka Mark, taking over the stage with the band vamping on the song and Booji giving a very long speech within the song about it being his birthday and how he was 72 now and that the band is only halfway through their career. He made the crowd promise to come back in 2075, health dependent of course, so the band could celebrate 100 years in New York City. It was one of the weirdest endings to a show I’ve seen in a long time, and I wouldn’t want a Devo show to end any other way. With how much fun the band was clearly having on stage and how great they sounded, hopefully more shows will be on the horizon for these legends.
Article: Bryan Lasky