Live Review: The Devo Boys Meets The Village People’s Randy Jones and Forms A “Revolushn” By Eileen Shapiro
Amongst the dimly lit underground of one of the coolest venues in New York City, “Bowery Electric”, the audience began to arrive filled with excited anticipation of a 27 year reunion. Dave Kendrick, drummer of Devo, and Frank Schubert who has worked with Devo,the audacious masterminds of “Whip It”, and Randy Jones, the sexy cowboy, still on the charts today as a solo artist, from the iconic kings of disco bands, The Village People, was set to play together as one. At a New Years Eve gig in Disney World, on an eve so hot that guitar strings were melting, the two enormously popular factions shared the stage separately. Tonight, in a rare performance the remainder of the Devo band, now headlining as the Psych band “Revolushn”, offered to back Randy Jones as he sings his internationally famous hit, “YMCA.”
Suddenly in a burst of light, a hint of glitter, and raw booming thunder, “Revolushn” hit the stage, and decided to own it. The audience was immediately enthralled and captured by the band’s relevant sound, wild antics and musical sensibility.
Undeniably one of the tightest musical quality bands, Revolution shook the room, and rocked the venue while the congregation danced radically about.
Former Devo drummer Dekay (Dave Kendrick), is one of the best drummers I’ve ever encountered, commanding beats on those skins relentlessly, while standing out in the band when most drummers remain lost way behind. Q lit up the stage with her bass riffs, smiling face, positive energy, and inspiring vocal ability. Young played his guitar with emotion, skill and power. The keys rang out via Russian princess Schubert Ola, (Ilene), a classically trained pianist, and a Russian doctor who fled to America with her daughter not knowing a soul. Front man No, was a whole other experience in spirit and freedom. He played his guitar using knowledge and passion obtained from a lifetime of music. His vocals were laced with rawness and grunge, as he left the stage randomly and paraded throughout the crowd, singing songs with an opulent message, most of which he wrote. A special mention to Eddie Spaghetti the group’s tour manager, also a musician.
Through interviews and introductions I’ve had the joy of knowing five of the coolest, most organic, fascinating and warmest people I’ve met in a while, not to mention that “Revolushn is one of tightest bands out there. Each knowing what the other one is doing through telepathy, which is amazing considering their set list was long enough to reach the other side of New York City.
About half way through that set list, after performing songs including “The River”, and their smash hit “Dinosaurs”, No called super special guest , Village People’s cowboy, multi-platinum recording star, now international Billboard charting solo artist, actor, producer, and still making noise, superstar, Randy Jones! A historic moment in the musical industry was made. Even No knew this would be iconic as he stopped the show to snap pictures of himself and Randy on stage!
Randy Jones performed a never before, powerfully, explosive rendition of “YMCA”, backed by “Revolushn”, stealing the hearts of the fans forever more. I’ve known Randy for some years now, (and I’m proud and honored to call him friend), but I’ve never seen him live and in person on a stage. I was absolutely flawed! There are no words…..
The night was a wild mixture of fun and laughter and a lot of dancing. The audience was filled with nightlife superstars, recording artist Aaron Paul, new pop singing sensation Matt Davis, TV hosts, Jimmy Star and Ron Russell, the band FM, and fabulous photographers Billy Hess and Big Al.
If you are fortunate to be reading this now, you have one last chance to see a repeat performance of this tonight at “The Duplex” at 9 pm, ( 61 Christopher Street , NYC), and then its sealed forever. Revolushn will be performing at Off Key Tikki on Saturday ( 31 Baker Place, Patchogue ), as well and in CT on Thursday. This is one performance that you will take with you, the memories of a lifetime!