DEVO's Twofer at the Fonda - Night #1: "Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO!"
Who needs the Fountain of Youth when you can grow old disgracefully with DEVO?
DEVO are so old they probably heard Darwin himself explain his evolutionary theory. They have a combined age of 234. Guitarist Bob Casale looks like he has to take a deep breath just to pick up the guitar, while singer Mark Mothersbaugh looks like he's ready to skip his twilight years and jump straight into the twilight zone. And they can still sell out a venue on a Tuesday night and fill it with kids willing to spend $30 for a plastic dome hat and jump around to music, which, to them, really is new wave.
To mark Warner Bros.' recent reissues of their 1978 debut Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO! and 1980's Freedom of Choice, DEVO made the first stop of their nationwide tour dedicated to playing the entirety of both albums over two nights. After screening the early '70s videos to "Secret Agent Man" and "Jocko Homo" (featuring a cameo by the Mothersbaughs' dad), the Mothersbaugh and Casale brothers hit the stage. And no sooner did the four--along with drummer Josh Freese (formerly of Nine Inch Nails, and currently with Weezer, A Perfect Circle and the Vandals), a mere pup at 36--tear into the album's opener "Uncontrollable Urge" than Mothersbaugh started ripping the sleeves off their yellow jumpsuits as if they had been pieced together with Scotch tape, leaving them looking a bowl of half-eaten bananas.
(More DEVOtion, rad photos of some good-looking senior citizens, and bonus video of Pearl Jam "Whipping It!" for Halloween after the jump)
With his correctional glasses, Mothersbaugh has always been the mad scientist/comedic centerpiece. If he wasn't waving around pom poms, he was pretending to smoke and sip a drink behind the keyboards. The entire band, in fact, are funny to watch, whether they're doing synchronized military-style dances, slowly following each other in a circle, unsuccessfully jumping on the speakers, or stripping down to matching black T-shirts, shorts, knee socks and knee pads.