Progressive metal kingpin, Devin Townsend along with Between the Buried and Me make a much-anticipated Transcending The Coma tour stop in Louisville.

On a stage cast in deep purple lights and filled with fog, The Devin Townsend Project roll onto the Mercury Ballroom stage and straight into “Night,” followed “By Your Command,” and “Failure.”

Taking a few minutes to catch his breath (more like allowing the crowd to catch their breaths), Devin’s introduction to the next song with pithy and to the point. “Thank you for coming out on a Sunday. Why not just ‘Rejoice?'” he asks before the band powers through another fantastic song.

Devin and the guys are having a great time on stage. There are smiles from everyone as Devin is pointing and acknowledging fans in the crowd. He shouts from the stage, “Heavy metal; it’s not just a spectator sport, ladies and gentlemen. We are all in this together. Here is a pretty one for you. Everyday’s a New Day from Ziltoid the Omniscient,” as they launch into “Hyperdrive” followed by “Stormbending” from their new album, Transcendence.

With more than half of the set behind us Devin Townsend project again pauses to talk to the appreciative crowd “We are a bunch of softies up here, but life is binary, right? So let’s bring the metal as they rolled straight into a ripping, hard-driving rendition of “Ziltoid Goes Home.” “Let your freak flag fly! Here is a song about farting testicles,” shouts Devin as DTP drops into “March of the Poozers,” much to the delight of the crowd.

They close their set with Devin setting up their final song. “In true Heavy metal lifestyle,” he says, “I’ve been married more than half of my life, I have kids and my sobriety… so in this vein, I give you a love story.” The band tears into a hard-driving rendition of “Kingdom” ending with a huge ovation and chants of “DTP.”

Their two-song encore starts out with Devin alone on stage with an acoustic guitar around his neck. “it’s impossible to crowbar nine years and nine albums of material into a 75-minute show set,” he says.

Devin continues, making fun of his acoustic guitar saying, “It’s almost like a mid-80s Scorpions show.” He starts a sing-along song, “Ih-Ah!” before ending with a blazing rendition of “Higher” that capped off a great night of metal from the Devin Townsend Project.

DTP is Devin Townsend (vocals and guitar), Dave Young (guitar and keys), Ryan Van Poederooyen (drums), Brian ‘Beav’ Waddell (bass), and Mike St-Jean (keys/synths and programming).

Progressive death metallers Between The Buried And Me provided main support for the evening. On a tight yet expertly backlit stage, Between The Buried and Me performed their most recent album, Coma Ecliptic, in its entirety. The story behind the concept album follows the wanderings of an unidentified man who, stuck in a coma, journeys through his past lives. Each song was a separate chapter or episode.

The set started with lead singer, Tommy Rodgers, illuminated on stage by a single overhead can light singing the intro verses of “Node.” The rest of the guys soon joined in, launching us on our hour plus long journey into Coma Ecliptic. The balance of their set was “The Coma Machine,” “Dim Ignition, “Famine Wolf,” “King Redeem/Queen Serene,” “Turn on the Darkness,” “The Ectopic Stroll,” “Rapid Calm,” “Memory Palace,” and “Option Oblivion.” Their set drew a huge ovation from the Louisville crowd as they finished off the final chords of “Life in Velvet.”

Between the Buried and Me are Dan Briggs (bass), Blake Richardson (drums), Tommy Rogers (vocals/keyboards), Paul Waggoner, and Dustie Waring (guitar).

Opening the show was San Francisco-based metallers Fallujah. Their 35-minute, seven-song set of atmospheric death metal proved to be a perfect launch pad for the evening. They opened with “Sapphire” along with “Alone With You” and ended with “The Void Alone.”

Fallujah is Alex Hofmann (vocals),  Scott Carstairs and Brian James (guitars), Robert Morey (bass), and Andrew Baird (drums).

Devin Townsend Project 
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Between the Buried and Me
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Terry Harper Productions
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The Mercury Ballroom
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Event Date: 25-Sep-2016