Devin Townsend Project @ The Enmore Theatre (Sydney)

Devin Townsend is one of those people that brings all kinds of people out of the woodwork, and he didn't disappoint in Sydney.

Like an Opeth or Tool gig, you get more than just metalheads at a Devin Townsend Project show. There were homies and surfers and all ages packing out the Enmore Theatre on Saturday and the vibe was high.

I didn't get there in time to see Contrive, but that's no great loss. In fact, it was deliberate. If I had got there in time, I would have gone back to the pub till Devin came onstage. When he did hit the stage at around 9 pm the place went off and he yelled out, "Are you ready for a fucking fun night?" We were, naturally, and the band kicked off with Addicted. It gets operatic, the electronics are throbbing, but you know he's only just warming up. The groove keeps picking up and it sounds (and feels) like the volume is increasing with every track. The mix started a little shaky (especially in the drums) but soon cleared up and the sound became epic. The gig got heavier and riffier and louder through tracks like Supercrush, Kingdom and Truth.

Before long the stage went black. Then the voice of Ziltoid The Omniscient rang out through the room, lambasting the "hippies" on stage, especially the "lima bean hippy" in the front. He demanded real heavy music from the "bald ursurper". And he got it with By Your Command.

The crowd was along for every minute of the ride on Saturday and Devin kept them buzzing. At one point there was even a moment of synchronised arm waving featuring a few real lighters. I thought lighters had given way to mobile phones long ago. Devin always lampoons what a "metal" show should be like and hollered, "Yeah, yeah, life sucks, everything's brutal, wah wah wah! Just fucking sing." So we did.

By around the three quarter mark of the two hour show things did flatten off a bit. To be honest, it would have been a lot better as an hour and half show. Whether it was fatigue in the room or on stage was hard to tell. But after Namaste the band took a break for about one minute and when they came back they blasted the energy back into the place.

Towards the end the rest of the band left the stage and Devin stayed on his own in a spotlight to play Ki. This was a perfect example of what a genius the man is, with incredible guitar skills and an amazing, almost aria-like vocal finish. The the band came back and they pounded out the final songs in powerful style. At the end someone threw a t-shirt up on stage. Devin picked it up and smiled, holding it up to show TOWNSEND written across the back. He was very happy. So were we. What a bloody top night.