Devin Townsend Project – The Retinal Circus

Devin Townsend is one of the most hardworking musicians of the modern age.  When he released the first four albums as DTP (Ki, Addicted, Deconstruction and Ghost) he played the lot, on four different nights in London and released a 9-disc box set.  Last year he released a great record called Epicloud but before that he had announced that in October he would do another crazy show in London called “The Retinal Circus”.
The word “Circus” is carefully and very well picked because, it successfully describes an evening that had lots more than just live interpretations of the songs. Clowns, dancers, performers, a story to bind the songs together with Steve Vai as the narrator and of course… Ziltoid and his family!!!
Those who have seen the bootleg version that goes around youtube must have noticed the problems in the overall sound. But Devin polished it a bit and the cd release of the event has massive sound quality. This of course means that there is not a 100% live experience but it is a great release.
This release is the closest the Greek fans can be to live interpretation of songs like “Lucky Animals”, “Vampira” and lots of songs from the Ziltoid the Omniscient album. There are also lots of surprises during the night, with acoustic versions of songs, funny bits from the story and nice guest appearances.
Miss Anneke Van Giersbergen with her great voice could be enough as a guest appearance, but Jed Simon stole the spotlight. He jumped on stage and with his buddy they played not one but two Strapping Young Lad songs. “Love?” and “Detox” were performed live after god knows how many years. It should be noted that  this release does not run through the discography of Devin, but nonetheless this is a complete and an enjoyable live cd.
It should also be noted that this event is released in six different versions including one special limited “Monkey Box” edition. Overall it is a great addition to any fan of Devin’s and a great start for any new fans.  It is a greatly covered event and shows the gargantuan effort everyone has made.