Devo’s Electrifying 50 Years of De-evolution Tour: A Night of Music, Outfits, and Iconic Moments at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle

Devo, one of the most iconic bands to emerge during the 70s, played at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, WA, as a stop on their 50 Years of De-evolution tour. The group was formed in 1973 in Akron, OH, with two sets of brothers: Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh, and Jerry and Bob Casale. Three years later, Alan Myers became the group’s third drummer. This lineup released six albums together. Devo took a four-year hiatus and regrouped with drummer David Kendrick. Just three years later, Devo took a five-year hiatus and reunited, this time with Josh Freese on drums. Since 1996, Freese has been with the group on and off, and from 2008 to 2014, Jeff Friedl filled in. Friedl played again in 2019 and is currently on their current tour while Freese is with the Foo Fighters. Friedl has also played with Eagles of Death Metal, Filter, and has been a member of A Perfect Circle since 2011. In 2013, Myers passed away, and just a year later, Bob Casale also passed. Following Casale’s passing, Josh Hagar became the rhythm guitarist/keyboardist. This is Devo’s first big tour since Hardcore Devo in 2014. Devo only performed once in 2016, once in 2018 with Fred Armisen, once in 2019, and in 2021, just three performances at Riot Fest Chicago, YouTube Theatre (Los Angeles, CA), and Punk Rock Bowling. Last year, there were only four performances, two of which were back-to-back days at the Cruel World Festival. At the time, it seemed like there would be no further shows. Leading up to this show, Devo played 13 shows/festivals, including overseas dates.

This was a fun-filled night of music, outfits, and videos. Many fans dressed up in iconic Devo outfits. Before doors opened, there was quite a line waiting to get in, even with the Seattle weather, and fans rushed to the merch tables with a line wrapping around. Even several songs into the show, there was still a long line of fans waiting to buy special 50th-anniversary shirts and posters. Before the show, a video showed a made-up label executive, Rod Rooter, then and now, followed by a montage of Devo photos and videos over the years. As always, Devo opened with “Don’t Shoot (I’m A Man),” which has been their opener since 2010, excluding the Hardcore Devo tour. Casale would start on keyboard, then switch to bass later, starting with their cover of the Rolling Stones’ “I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction),” and Mark Mothersbaugh only played guitar on that song. He also played keyboards on most songs, switching between that and being a frontman, and Hagar mostly played keyboards but also guitar on a few songs.

Starting with “Girl U Want,” the band wore their iconic Energy Dome hats, which they sell at the shows, and Mothersbaugh threw a few into the audience. Next up would be another major hit, “Whip It,” followed by “Planet Earth,” sung by Casale. Following a video, Devo would return in their legendary yellow hazmat suits, as they wore in their “I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction)” music video, and perform the song followed by “Secret Agent Man,” which Bob Mothersbaugh sang. Next would be “Uncontrollable Urge,” which was made famous again by Rob Dyrdek with his show Ridiculousness. Mark Mothersbaugh ripped off a sleeve, as well as one of Bob’s, and two songs later, halfway through “Jocko Homo,” the group was throwing the top part of their hazmat suits into the crowd. Underneath the hazmat suits, they had Devo shirts, shorts, and kneepads, another famous look of Devo’s. Mark Mothersbaugh came into the crowd, trading off the lyrics “We are not men, we are Devo” with audience members. Advertisement

The band walked offstage for another change during the “Devo Corporate Anthem.” They would return, wearing outfits that spelled out Devo for the final three songs, which were “Freedom of Choice,” “Gut Feeling (Slap Your Mammy),” and “Beautiful World.” Out came Booji Boy for “Beautiful World,” and he threw out small bouncy balls into the crowd, and it was mentioned when Devo’s 100th anniversary will be, which was on the screen. The show came to a close with the band walking off the stage, and a vintage photo of the band on the screen.