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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > New Wave > Rock > DEVO - Live In The Land Of The Rising Sun

DEVO – Live In The Land Of The Rising Sun


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Concert: B



One of the greatest of all New Wave bands is DEVO, a band ahead of just about everyone else in the world of Music Video.  Despite the absence of their remake of Jimi Hendrix’s Are U Experienced?, Rhino released their great Music Video compilation The Complete Truth About De-Evolution on DVD and followed that with the release of a vintage concert DVD simply called DEVO - Live.  Now, Music Video Distributors offers a new, more recent concert in the new Live In The Land Of The Rising Sun DVD and their return could never be soon enough.


Taped in front of a wildly enthusiastic crowd in Tokyo, Japan, the band goes quickly into high gear, delivering great performances of the following all-time classics:


1)     That’s Good

2)     Girl U Want

3)     Whip It

4)     Satisfaction

5)     Uncontrollable Urge

6)     Mongoloid

7)     Blockhead

8)     Jocko Homo

9)     Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA

10)  Gut Feeling/Slap Yer Mammy

11)  Gates Of Steel

12)  Freedom Of Choice (aka freedomofchoice)

13)  Come Back Jonee



They may be a few decades older, but unlike most bands of their age, they have not lost their touch; their talent and skills have not faded one bit.  Their vision of the future, once laughed at by many, has become all too true.  Time is catching up with DEVO’s vision and not enough people are listening.  No band since has articulated things quite as well as they have and they are one of the only true survivors left of New Wave, embodying all it stands for.  Even with more commercial outside projects in music, film and video as solo artists, they have not given up one inch of integrity and are one of the last survivors of the original Rock genre to boot.  Their music was always about the ways people have allowed technology and civilization to push people backwards and the onslaught of technology since their debut has more than vindicated their vision.  They have so much to say and luckily, they keep saying it.


To top it off, this is a fun concert with much energy and the back and fourth between the audience and the band is the kind of interplay not seen enough.  That this was so recent added an extra excitement to it that great live music is far from dead.  Another great thing is that this is a band that does not have to be in a Music Video to be interesting to watch.  When these guys become DEVO, they ARE DEVO and few bands (especially most new ones) cannot even come close.  Live In The Land Of The Rising Sun is one of the best concert DVDs to date, with a 75 minutes running time that could not go on long enough for me.


The full frame 1.33 X 1 video image is adequate, but one might have hoped for something in anamorphic 16 X 9, though this still seems DEVO is in comfortable territory with this old-styled analog footage.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 AC-3 mix is not great, playing like slightly better Pro Logic, but it also tries to spread out the sound that was obviously not thought out for 5.1 in the first place.  The extras include Japanese Press footage, the band shopping in Japan, another great Gerald V. Casale/Mark Mothersbaugh interview, and a rare 1980 video clip fans will particularly welcome.  That makes this one at least a must-see, but I would say it is a must-own.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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