From the iconic red energy dome hats on its cover to its sublime synthesis of robotic riffs and synths, Freedom Of Choice is more than just the album that broke Devo into the mainstream (for some, their last great album), it's a potent, punchy, pogo-worthy, pop culture masterpiece. The Fonda sure was 'abounce all around us Wednesday night, when the band played the 1981 release in its entirety for a crowd consisting mainly of 30 and 40-somethings, including yours truly (FOC was the first album we bought with our own money… we were 11 years old and the title was not insignificant for a kid on the verge of pre-teenhood).
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, which the guys performed the night previously (reviewed here and garnering quite a debate in the comments section), was a little too eccentric for our 9-year-old tastes, but we, like many young fans sucked in initially by “Whip It,” discovered it later.
Photo by Lina Lecaro
We'll have a fuller report from the show (which also included a tensely amazing “Be Stiff” and “Beautiful World” sung by Booji Boy, aka a masked Mark Mothersbaugh rocking the falsetto) in our Nightranger column next week, but for now, soak up this shot of the guys in full Freedom regalia. Under-rated as a new wave novelty act by some, Devo's music endures thanks to inhumanly catchy hooks and a still scorching -if still cheeky-weird and consciously satiric- live show. It would've rocked even without the Close Encounters lights and requisite wacky get-ups.
Speaking of get-ups, check out this week's column and slideshow for the costumed craziness last week seen at Halloweenabaloo at Union Station, LACMA's Muse Ball and KCRW's Masquerade party. We also take a whirl at DJ Hero's launch with Public Enemy and get mauled at Mustache Mondays' masked anniversary party. Autumnal audaciousness at its finest.