Day 1: April
24th, 2004 - Rehearsal
at SIR Studios in Hollywood
DEVO was back at SIR studios for another rehearsal - this one was the 3rd rehearsal of the week in preparation for their LA Coliseum show the next day. This was also their dress rehearsal, where they all tried on their custom blue
suits & domes, courtesy of NIKE, who hired DEVO to perform at their
5k/10k race events in 2004.
Mark was the first to adorn himself in the new duds, and entertained the
rest of us by wearing his new NIKE shoes on the wrong feet, which I must
say looked quite odd. During one of the rehearsals that week,
Mark & Jerry performed an off-the-cuff accapella version of Jocko Homo
with Nike-inspired lyrics, which I'll try to post here when I have time
to transcribe them from the rehearsal video.
Spuds in attendance: Scott Stanton, Tony Sophie, and Jesse (all from N. CA.), Dave Laplaca (from NY), and myself, along with several others on the crew,
and other friends of the band. It was amazing to be part of such an
intimate audience during a DEVO set (and I know I'm not the only one who
*still* has to pinch themselves in these situations). Armed with cameras
& audio gear galore, we made sure that each of us took home various
digitally recorded memories of the event.
Day 2: LIVE AT THE LA COLISEUM for NIKE's run event - April 25th
Have you ever seen any kind of rock concert before noon?
How about before 9am?
No? Didn't think so. Neither had I.
Have you ever PERFORMED a rock concert before noon?
How about at 9am??
No, you haven't. And neither had DEVO.
Well, there's a first time for everything... and this was a first for all of us.
Dave Laplaca and I met at around 6am on Sunday morning, the day
of NIKE's race event concert, and drove to get breakfast/caffeine before
we met the band at their hotel in downtown LA just before 7am. Scott Stanton
and his crew met us at the hotel, too. We all piled in a private bus with the
rest of the DEVO family and arrived at the LA Coliseum for DEVO's
soundcheck at about 7:30. The caffeine I'd ingested an hour before
was keeping me alive, but morning seemed to morph into
& evening as as we arrived at the venue. My mind snapped into concert
mode, and I swear it seemed like it was much later in the day, with all
the stage preparation and race event mayhem going on around me.
The DEVO set started at about 9:15am, just after the runners had all
crossed the finish line as they entered the coliseum. See the full set list here.
A lighting rig caught fire during the beginning of the set, which added an
element of danger to the show, and was quickly extinguished by stage hands. Fans of all ages showed up to run and/or see DEVO… including one 14 year
old young lady who showed up with a hand-made “Duty Now For The Future” sleeveless button-down shirt. (if I can figure out how to get screen shots
from my MiniDV cam, I'll post images of her shirt, the stage fire, etc.).
The set was filled mostly with their early, guitar-driven songs:
Freedom Of Choice
Girl U Want
Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA
Gut Feeling/Slap Yer Mammy
Gates Of Steel
Two T-shirt designs were on sale at the event, specially made for DEVO's
2004 live shows. Chaser Merchandising designed a variation of the “Uncontrollable Urge” T-shirt, which featured blue energy domes, printed
on a blue tee. Also available was the official “Devolution Is Real” 2004 Tour
shirt, which is also printed on a blue tee (to match the color scheme of the
blue uniforms DEVO wore onstage, provided by NIKE). The front features
an image of Booji Boy, and the back features artwork by Mark
Mothersbaugh, most of which was taken from the pages of My Struggle.
The shirts will be available for the rest of the tour, as far as I know.
By 10:30am, we were all back in the bus heading to the hotel. It was an
odd feeling, to say the least. I'd just experienced what would typically be
a full night of DEVO concert mayhem, yet I had the whole day ahead of me.
It was an amazing feeling, and I'm looking forward to another morning show
later this summer.
There are more Nike sponsored DEVO shows this year, as well as some
public shows added in. I've heard that the Nike show in Portland, OR will
be an early morning show, too… but that the Nike shows in NYC and Chicago
will be in the early evening.
Hope to see you there…
June 11th, 2004