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devintownsend intro D3S2400 kleinKulturkirche, Cologne, Germany
9th April 2019
An Evening with Devin Townsend

When DEVIN TOWNSEND announced a very special European “An Evening With” solo acoustic tour, beginning at the end of March 2019 and running through April, the fans were excited and shows sold-out in no time. So, also the Cologne show was sold-out. The intimate evenings featured Devin performing tracks from across his catalogue, as well as taking part in a Q&A where fans got to know more about what Devin is up to at this stage in his career and the new album ‘Empath’. This was surely a unique & special experience for all in attendance.

Before the release of ‘Empath’, when it was a bit more quiet when it comes to touring, DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT played a special show at the Ancient Roman Theatre in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the landmark Ocean Machine album in full, as well as a set of fan-requested tracks alongside the Orchestra of Plovdiv State Opera on the 22nd September 2017. This concert was filmed, and recently saw its release as ‘Ocean Machine - Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv’. ‘Empath’ was released on the 29th March 2019 and will be followed by a tour in autumn. ‘Empath’, true to the name, is about allowing the audience a feeling for a variety of musical emotions. The musical dynamics represented on this single album are broad, challenging, and immense. To approach this sort of work with a long history of what makes heavy music “heavy”, allows this to be done with a type of power rarely heard.

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Music & Performance
The concept of this tour was easy: Devin, laptop and guitar. This was a very intimate setting for the show that allowed Devin to play my music stripped back to just him and his guitar. The whole tour took place in nice venues, so was the Kulturkirche in Cologne, and included spoken word elements as well as the already mentioned Q&A sessions. After the doors opened, the church filled up quickly and finally was packed to the roof. The stage setting was, as mentioned, much reduced and when Devin entered the stage at eight with a beanie and hoody, he looked more like just a stage hand but the artist. Right from the beginning, Devin talked a lot to the audience and told funny stories. When he had entered the stage, he first needed a song to tune his guitar and voice. And he recognized the missing water. After mentioning again that it was no joke, a fan brought him a glass of water… just seconds before a stage hand brought several bottles… what caused loud laughs.

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The setlist on the whole tour was different from city to city. The show in Cologne included, among others, ‘Funeral’, ‘Deadhead’, the “crowd pleaser” (as Devin told it) ‘Ih-Ah’, ‘Love?’, ‘Coast’ or the wonderful ‘Divine’. ‘Love?’ included, much to the joy of the audience, parts of a German fun song, called ‘Schnappi, das kleine Krokodil’ (‘Schnappi, the little crocodile’). You hardly can imagine how loud laughs and applause were during this interlude… The show, as announced, contained not only songs of Devin’s creative period, but also two Q&A sessions, one before and one after the intermission. And of course there were a lot of questions… some funny like the one who Muppet from the Muppet Show is his spiritual animal (Kermit, you knew, right?), some dealt with private things like the question what to do in Vancouver, but there were of course many questions about his music, like if and how he trains his voice and many more.

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Even though the musical part was absolutely great and funny because of all those stories he told and jokes he made, the main reason for the audience to take part in the show was surely the extended Q&A sessions with very extensive and moreover very honest answers, giving an insight into the man behind the artist on stage. Great evening!

Music: 9
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Light: 8
Total: 9 / 10

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All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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