red lights



House of Blues
Chicago, IL
Aug. 25, 2005
File Photo: Phil Bonyata

Review by Mike Houlihan

Last Thursday Chicago's HOB hosted DEVO for the first of two nights at the end of their 2005 limited summer tour. The agingDEVOlutionary faithful (several in full neon jumpsuits with flower pot headgear), who had, no doubt, just put their school-aged sons and daughters to bed and braved the $65.00 ticket price to take in this retro educational spectacular, were certainly not disappointed.

Despite the fact that this night's lesson in turn-back-the-clock social amelioration was over in a swift 70 minutes, the curriculum was high on efficiency and intensity. After a four-minute retro film, that appeared to be the precursor to the modern day infomercial, detailed old DEVO video clips and provided instructions for the attendees on everything from how to dress and how to behave in this satirical social flashback, the film host announced" It's time for DEVO, BOMBS AWAY!"

The screen lifted and the curtain was pulled back to expose the band already assembled on stage in their bright yellow tear away jumpsuits (size XL) with DEVO insignia on the lapel. On the opening number "That's Good" band leader Mark Mothersbaugh playfully worked his invisible shot gun as if he were skeet shooting over the audiences bobbing heads. Other crowd favorites included their 1980 hit "Girl You Want" from Freedom of Choice and the MTV staple "Whip It!," which injected energy throughout the room when the masses were showered with each band member's personal signature flower pot lid (the first of several band give a-ways). Again addressing the crowd, Mothersbaugh spoke of the strangeness of DEVO playing at the House Of Blues, "It's about DEVO taking over the fucking planet" he roared as the opening riff of their quirky version of the Rolling Stones classic "Satisfaction" stirred the crowd. "Uncontrollable Urge" showcased the band members intricate precision dance, and on "Mongoliod," Mothersbaugh sarcastically played with orange pom pons. Turning his attention back to the faithful, Mothersbaugh leaned over the edge of the stage and shouted "How many believe that DEVOlution is real?" With mass approval, he then repeatedly asked "Are we not men?" to which the revved up throng faithfully responded "We are DEVO!", and as the followers partied to "Jocko Homo" the band stripped down to black DEVO t-shirts, black DEVO boxers and black socks, which were pulled up nice and high.

The encore began with the popular "Freedom of Choice" and started the second round of give-aways as Mothersbaugh tossed several DEVO t-shirts into the crowd, which had been hiding in his own stuffed boxers. With one trick still up his sleeve, the frontman donned a large foam cowboy hat and fake moustache for the final number and slammed handfuls of small super balls off the stage and into the more than satisfied crowd, signaling the end of this evening's lesson.
Devo's August 25th, Chicago Set List:
1. That's Good
2. Going Under
3. Girl U Want
4. Whip It!
5. Satisfaction
6. Uncontrollable Urge
7. Mongoloid
8. Blockhead
9. Jocko Homo
10. Smart Patrol
11. Mr. DNA
12. Gates of Steel

1. Freedom of Choice
2. Wiggly World
3. Gut Feeling / (Slap Your Mammy)
4. Come Back Jonee

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