New York City’s Webster Hall welcomed Animals As Leaders, The Devin Townsend Project and Monuments last weekend. Earlier in the day, Devin treated me to a fantastic face to face interview, which you can read here. Prog reigned supreme throughout the night and due to some lengthy photo ops, so did the photographers. I’ve seen some awesome shots from this night already, due to the fact we were able to shoot for the whole show.
Click here for the pictures and review.
If you want to listen along while you read, here is a Spotify playlist of the entire night’s set.
UK’s Monuments warmed the damp crowd, huddling in from the dreary New York City rain, and opened with “Origin of Escape.” Monuments have been riding the release of their second album, The Amanuensis, which came out in June on Century Media. Most of their setlist was taken from this. What stood out most to me, was their live bass tone. Whatever bassist Adam Swan and his tech mixed and rigged up sounds amazing. A crispy, consistent tone solidified the rhythmic foundation of their set. I was easily able to pick it out of the mix, even at their loudest crescendo. Towards the end of the set, singer Chris Barretto produced a saxophone, leading an interlude into their set’s conclusion.
The Devin Townsend Project took stage with much crowd clamor and cheer as he opened with “Regulator,” from his early Oceam Machine recording. With a touch of Epicloud and a couple from Infinity, the rest of the set was from Z2 (Century Media), the huge follow up to his first Ziltiod the Omniscient. As the show progressed, Devin changed up guitars three times, all emblazoned with an LED Ziltiod “Z” symbol in the octave fret. They also had several other LED embellishments in the headstocks and bodies, one even had a smoke machine built in to the wings of it’s V body! For me, the apex was “Bad Devil” from Infinity. It’s a big, dynamic and sweeping brass song, kinda rockabilly-ish with a sweet organ riff. It could easily be dubbed over the swing dance scene in Swingers or Squirrel Nut Zippers’ video for “Hell” and fit right in.
Aah, Animals As Leaders. I just realized I have seen them on every album cycle now. I also went to a guitar clinic Tosin did at Guitar Center. I learned a couple tricks that I haven’t practiced and pretty much got a free fourth concert. Beyond a second projection screen and some signature guitars, little has changed for their live show. Tosin’s Ibanez/DiMarzio custon came last cycle. This time, Javier is toting a signature 8 string ESP LTD with a sexy quilted top. Joy of Motion is the title to their most recent release from Sumerian, which was produced by Periphery’s Misha Mansoor. “Point to Point” is always a favorite of mine to see from days of old. The drumming in “Kaskade” from Joy is off the wall. I always enjoy watching Matt flail around on his kit, face contorting with every crashed cymbal and sneering every snare hit. It sounds like Matt is going to hammer right through his set at any moment.