AUGUST 12th, 2005
CHEROKEE COUNTY, SC - FIRE LAKE FESTIVAL
DEVO in South Carolina?? I would've bet BIG money that this would NEVER happen. I knew this show was going to be different than the rest.
We fly into Charlotte, NC on the day of the show. This is followed by a van ride to Cherokee County, SC. Me and most of the band are in one van. As we're driving past miles of mostly uninteresting scenery, the topic of kudzu comes up. (the vine-like growth that covers everything along highways in the Southeast). Jerry had never heard of kudzu and was completely intrigued. He asked Fluffy, our van driver in SC, if kudzu had ever been passed onto humans. He immediately started telling us about a movie idea he had, including a scene where a woman is taken over, from inside-out, but a parasitic kudzu plant.
As we were pulling up to the outdoor venue, the driver talked about how many folks were at the Berlin and Missing Persons performances on the first day of the 3-day event. I think he said there were either 14 or 40 people at the main stage, maximum..!!! We were amazed. Seems that whomever promoted the show did a shitty job, and there were WAY fewer people than the festival organizers had expected. 40 people???
The DEVO show that night proved to pull much more than 40 people. I would estimate at least 200 people were in front of the stage when DEVO performed that night. Crowd response was great, and it was apparent that some of the crowd was there to "see what this DEVO band is all about". Those folks were soon won over after the first few songs, when DEVO really got into some guitar-heavy songs. I don't think some of the Carolina crowd expected so much rock n' roll energy from "that band who wore red flowerpots on their heads."
Truth be told, even with the ultra low attendance, there were still some hardcore DEVO fans at the show. I remember one local guy with tattoos, beer in hand, with a vintage energy dome on his head, saying "I've had this here dome for 20 years, and I've always wanted to see DEVO live!". One fan was wearing a custom-made embroidered DEVO cap. It was great to see Jeff Mothersbaugh, Mark's first cousin, and his son Casey DeGolyer at the show. They live nearby in Rock Hill, SC. (see Jeff's photos of DEVO shows here). I also ran into two guys I used to hang out with back in the mid 1980's who I hadn't seen in 15 years or so - Freddy Hutch & Buster Cherry. It was great to see them. They exposed me to some of the first Punk I'd ever heard.
BTW: Bob 1 and I both had fried balony sandwhiches at a little mom & pop diner across the street from our hotel in SC.
SEE PHOTOS from the Firelake Festival by David Oppenheimer
SEE PHOTOS from the Firelake Festival by Robert T. Reid
AUGUST 13th & 14th, 2005
WASHINGTON, DC - 9:30 CLUB
We arrived in DC and checked into a great hotel, The Rouge. I promptly took my bags to my room, got my computer an online connection, and then headed out to get something to eat near the hotel. I was wearing my DEVO CREW 2005 T-shirt, and walked out of the front lobby onto the street.
As soon as I stepped onto the sidewalk, a guy on a bike rides up behind me and says, "So, I guess you're going to the DEVO show tonight?" (He saw the back of my shirt, with the DEVO tour dates listed).
As I turned around to see him, he noticed that the front of my shirt said "CREW".
"Oh, so I guess you're definitely going to be at the show," he said.
I asked him if he knew of any restaurants nearby, and he offered to lead me to a good area a couple blocks away. We started talking about the show, our love of DEVO...when I noticed a tattoo on his forearm. It was the UPC code from the Duty Now For The Future LP!! I immediately got out my camera and snapped a photo.
The intro film DVD had some problems the first night, so it had to be aborted..but the problem was fixed in time for the 2nd night in DC.
Lots of hardcore fans were there in both homemade and vintage gear. Kids, parents, all walks of life show up for DEVO concerts.
I remember that, during the first DC show, Mark threw an Energy Dome into the crowd, which bounced off my camera/tripod, knocked over my beer, and landed in the lighting guy's hands! It was amazing.
Read an Aug. 13th show report by DEVO fan Doug Hecox
Hear Mark Mothersbaugh talk about DEVO's tour on NPR.
AUGUST 17th, 2005
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - HOUSE OF BLUES
Both band and crew arrived in Atlantic City on August 16th late in the afternoon. I walked around the boardwalk with Mark, Josh and some of the crew. We got something to eat, then walked to the venue to check it out.
As we returned to the hotel, we were informed that we would be on the guest list for the show at the House Of Blues that night - Dolly Parton!! A few of us decided to go (Me, Jerry, and some of the crew), and we had a great time. We were able to watch Dolly's show from above the stage in VIP balcony seats. She was a perfect doll, and put on a fantastic show.