A little over a month after the sudden death of Devo guitarist Bob Casale, the pioneering New Wave band has announced dates for a summer tour. The show will focus on material the group recorded before signing to Warner Bros. in 1978. "A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Devo perform the legendary, experimental music the band created between 1974-1977 in Akron Ohio!" reads a press release. "The tour is dedicated to the memory of Robert Casale, (A.K.A. Bob 2), one of the 5 original Devo band members who is now touring the universe."
Last month, Jerry Casale told Rolling Stone that plans for the tour were in place before his brother Bob passed away. "What we had planned for the 40th anniversary was to go out live and play all the early, experimental songs we wrote that appeared on Hardcore Devo," he said. "We haven't played those songs in 40 years. Songs like 'Mechanical Man,' 'Space Girl Blues,' 'She Didn't Know I Was a Midget'." We wanted to show people what we were doing at the time by using the same instruments, really hardcore and raw. We were the White Stripes and the Black Keys in an era before those guys. We wanted to show people what it was like to actually hear whacked-out parts being played together."
The gigs will mark the group's first performances without Bob Casale since he joined the group in 1974, just as many of the songs the group plans on playing on this tour were first recorded. Tracks like "I Need A Chick" and "Be Stiff" were wildly subversive and unlike anything else in pop music at the time. Some of the songs, like "Mongoloid" and "Jocko Homo," were re-recorded in 1978 with producer Brian Eno for Devo's debut LP, but most of them fell into obscurity. Fans can hear them on the recently reissued albums Hardcore Devo: Volume One and Hardcore Devo: Volume Two.
Devo tour dates:
6/18 Baltimore, MD - Ramshead
6/19 New York, NY - Best Buy Theatre
6/21 Chicago, IL - Arcada Theatre
6/23 Denver, CO - Summit Music Hall
6/25 Seattle, WA - Neptune
6/26 Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
6/28 Oakland, CA - Fox Theatre
6/29 Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern
6/30 Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up
7/2 Austin, TX - ACL/Moody Theatre