The Great Misdirect Tour featuring headliners Between The Buried And Me with openers Cynic, The Devin Townsend Project and Scale The Summit rolled into NYC this past Saturday. Being a fan of all four bands, I was very excited for this show and my expectations were high. Unfortunately, my expectations weren't quite met. [And my expectations that I would have good pictures to post since I remembered to bring my digital camera with me and wouldn't have to rely on my Blackberry camera weren't quite met either. Perhaps I'll have better luck next time.]
First up was Scale The Summit. I would have caught their whole set had I not spent the first 15 minutes of it in the coat check line. Seriously? Have you ever heard of a coat check line being that long? And to add to the aggravation of waiting in a long line, I had the most annoying kid in the world standing in line behind me. He didn't speak so much as he yelled and everything out of his mouth was nonsense. He had a theory that all good merch was sold out before the first band went on which anyone who has been to a show before would tell you couldn't be further from the truth. But his major offense besides simply being loud and stupid was that fact that this WHITE KID dropped the n-word about 10 times like he was Jay-Z. There is nothing more offensive than a white person using that word and even if he didn't mean it maliciously, he was still WAY OUT OF LINE. The icing on the cake was that his midget girlfriend kept jabbing me in the lower back with her ridiculously over-sized bag. I hope they all got punched in the head in the most pit. Anyway, after grabbing a much needed alcoholic beverage, I caught the last bit of Scale The Summit's set and thoroughly enjoyed it. These guys are young and have some serious chops and, along with fellow instrumentalists and label mates Animals As Leaders, look like they have a bright future ahead.
Next up was the act I was most excited for: The Devin Townsend Project. And judging by the crowd reaction, I wasn't the only one feeling that way. Devin started the show telling a story about the, uh, bowel movement he took earlier in the day. Truth or fiction? I do not know, but the crowd was laughing and cheering regardless. Devin pulled his set list from his catalog of "solo" (The Devin Townsend Project, Devin Townsend Band, Devin Townsend) albums, but sadly only had 30 minutes to work with. I think the crowd would have gladly accepted another hour of material from Mr. Townsend, but enthusiastically soaked up the 30 minutes they were given. It was an incredible performance, but unfortunately for the two acts that had to follow him, perhaps it was too incredible.
Cynic followed The Devin Townsend Project and this is, in my opinion, the fatal flaw of this tour. Cynic has two albums out. One released in 1993 and one released in 2008. They are both good and I was looking forward to seeing them live for the first time. I don't know if they were having an off night or what, but their set was beyond BORING. I mean it was an utter and complete snoozefest. I think the major problem was that Devin Townsend was so high energy that Cynic seemed like Dave Matthews coming on after Metallica. I don't know how it was determined that Cynic be direct support, but they most definitely should not be. Devin would make so much more sense in that slot and the show would flow much better. I have to admit that this really soured me on Cynic and I will never go out of my way to see them live in the future.
By the time Between The Buried And Me hit the stage, my energy had been completely deflated by Cynic and all I could think about was where we were all going to hang out after the show. I love BTBAM. I own all their albums and have seen them live before and thought they ruled, but tonight I was just not feeling it. And again, I completely blame the choice of Cynic as direct support for this. They really destroyed the vibe for me. That being said, I won't hold it against BTBAM and most definitely would go see them again.