In 1990, Devo released Hardcore Devo, a collection of raucous basement tapes recorded in Akron between 1974 and 1977. On the road last summer, the band brought the concept back, forgoing hits like “Whip It” to perform stripped-down versions of those early tracks on a 10-city North American tour.
“The thought was, ‘What if we play songs we haven’t played in 35 years for a crowd that never heard them except on old basement recordings?'” bassist Jerry Casale told Rolling Stone shortly after the announcement. “It might create the early Devo experience of people yelling at us and walking out.”
Naturally, the tour turned out to be a huge success, and on February 10th, the band will be releasing the Oakland show as Hardcore Live!, which will be available on DVD, Blu-Ray, CD and vinyl. Above, watch that night’s raucous performance of “Uncontrollable Urge.” Casale, Mark Mothersbaugh and Bob Mothersbaugh mechanically dance in unison, and when a fan jumps onstage, Mark shoves him off back into the crowd. Hardcore indeed.
“Hatched in an Akron basement in late ’76, ‘Uncontrollable Urge’ reached penetration velocity after we saw the Ramones in NYC the following spring,” Casale now says, recalling the song’s origins.
Hardcore Live! will also serve as a tribute to rhythm guitarist Bob Casale, Jerry’s brother, who died last February. Pre-order it here.