Talk About Some Balls

You don't need a kung-fu grip to crack that whip.

We're through being cool Eliminate the ninnies and the twits Going to bang some heads Going to beat some butts Time to show those evil spuds what's what - Devo, "Through Being Cool"

One of the most unfortunate misconceptions about the influx of bands today is that it increases the probability of seeing an amazing live show — it doesn't. In fact, I would bet there is probably less of a chance of seeing a combination of great music and the stage presence to sell it. More often then not, you have to settle for one or the other. The more talented bands just want to get on stage and play and leave, maybe a few jumps here and there, but they take themselves too seriously to come out on stage in yellow jumpsuits and energy domes or do anything that might put into question the "sanctity" of their art.

So I guess it's a good thing the members of Devo have never taken themselves seriously.

From the moment concertgoers walked into the Reliant Arena Saturday night, they knew they were at a Devo show. Many fans were walking around adorned with energy domes purchased at the merch table. What else was for sale? Action figures, yes, action figures, complete with a set of interchangeable heads, an energy dome and a whip. If that wasn't enough to convince attendees that this show would be like no other, then the show itself settled the argument.

The guys ran on stage in full "Whip It" gear which they eventually tore off to reveal their second costumes: men's volleyball uniforms — knee pads and all. They played all the greatest hits and misses with plenty of cheesy synchronized dance moves and a finale that was off the wall — literally. Lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh threw hundreds of bouncy balls into the audience for one of the cheapest yet coolest stage effects I have ever seen.

There was no fire, lasers or dancers, just the men (I mean "not men") of Devo, their music and some props that you could easily find at a costume shop. They proved that being in your 50s in no reason to stop the show and that all you need to upstage your impersonators is what attracted their attention in the first place — a genius gimmick. -- Dusti Rhodes

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