photos by P Squared Photography

Devo @ Best Buy Theater 6/19/2014
Devo
Devo

"The original idea for this tour was, of course, an artistic conceit like Devo often does," Casale said over the phone from California. "We were going to play only these 'Hardcore' songs that existed before anybody knew about us and we were in our experimental, insular period of proto-Devo. And we thought, 'It'll be so bizarre for us and the crowd, so let's do it!' But then it became like a memorial tour and a way to raise money for his family."

The "his family" in question is that of Robert Casale, a.k.a. Bob 2, Gerald's brother and longtime Devo guitarist/keyboardist who died of heart failure in February at age 61.

"Bob's family was destitute because he didn't have insurance and there's all these catastrophic care bills because he was trying to get Obamacare right when it happened," Casale said. "So we started a donation site that Pearl Jam and Shepard Fairey put on their sites. But that wasn't enough to help with (Bob's) family not losing their house."

Casale had already pitched the idea for a "Hardcore Devo" tour, as the band's 1974-1977 period has come to be known, which would consist exclusively of songs originally recorded on four-track tape machines in the basements of Akron, Ohio, where Devo formed. - [Denver Post]

Always fans of high concepts, Devo devolved for their current "hardcore" tour -- their first since the death of guitarist Bob Casale -- which focuses entirely on the band's early, experimental years before signing to Warner Brothers. For fans of the "Jocko Homo" / "Uncontrollable Urge" era, this is mid-'70s paydirt. That tour, which was dedicated to the late Casale and was a fundraiser for his family, hit NYC last night (6/19) for a show at Time's Square's Best Buy Theater. The show began with Mark Mothersbaugh coming out alone, sitting at his keyboard and leafing through a copy of the evening news (from 1974), and the band joined one by one later. The first half of the show was played sitting down, and the jumpsuits didn't come out till later in the show. As for their signature Energy Dome headgear, you had to look to audience members for those last night.

More pictures from last night, and Devo's setlist, below...

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SETLIST: Devo @ Best Buy Theatre 6/19/2014
Mechanical Man
Auto Modown
Space Girl Blues
Baby Talkin' Bitches
Fraulein
I Been Refused
Bamboo Bimbo
Beehive
Midget
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Timing X
Soo Bawls
Stop, Look & Listen
Ono
Be Stiff
Uncontrollable Urge
Social Fools
Jocko Homo
Fountain of Filth
Gut Feeling

Encore:
Booji Boy's Funeral
U Got Me Bugged
Clockout