Look, I'm getting older. I don't go out that much anymore. Fewer concerts and all that. This means that sometimes I'm a bit more easily impressed than I used to be when my visits to gigs were more frequent. In a way that's really nice. One of my few, but very big concert experiences of 2012 was the Devin Townsend Project gig in Aalborg, Denmark, at the Metal Festival there. Not only did I get the opportunity to meet the man in person prior to the concert for a short interview, I was also completely taken aback by the power and might of the live experience Devin Townsend offers the concert-goer.
Literally a few days before the Aalborg concert, Devin and the project had pulled off the Retinal Circus event in London. In hindsight, there's an event I should probably have made the effort to travel across the stretch of water between here and the British Isles to witness in person. My envy of those who actually did make it there doesn't grow less when listening to the release which is now out there in the stores.
For me, 'The Retinal Circus' captures much of the madness I experienced in Aalborg last year, and then some. It is obvious that Devin and band have put so much more into this evening and turned it into an event, a musical, a capitol S show. If you've seen the appetizers on
YouTube, you'll know what I mean.
If you go out and get the CD's, there's of course little new for you if you're a regular guest in the soundscapes of Devin Townsend. The audio experience is as bombastic and compact as always, and the songs are plainly brilliant. It's hard for me to say anything negative about the talent and material of Townsend. I love it, just in case you hadn't figured that out yet.
Anyhoo, what you're not used to as a Townsend fan is the voice of Townsend's old friend Steve Vai, guiding us through the odd universe of Ziltoid and his creator. Too much talk and interaction between the two throughout? No, not really. I can fully appreciate how entertaining this must have been and, again, I can only send my envy in the direction of those fortunate bastards who had a ticket for the night. Remind me that I need to order the DVD at some point...