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Kevin Devine Ends His Tour in Brooklyn

June 8th, 2009

Kevin Devine/Miniature Tigers – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 7, 2009

Kevin Devine - Music Hall of Williamsburg - June 7, 2009

For an artist whose performances normally hinge on pin-drop acoustic moments and heavily personal lyrics, last night’s Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band show at Music Hall of Williamsburg was certainly a departure. The entire crowd was befuddled when Devine took to the stage a few minutes early to explain there would be a “cultural” performance introduction to his set. What followed was a hysterically over-the-top but very well planned handshake routine between the Goddamn Band’s Mike Strandberg and the Miniature Tigers’ Rick Schaier full of claps, shouts and more choreography than a cheerleading act.

To say that this alone set the tone for the rest of the night would diminish the hilarious menagerie that was the closing song of the Miniature Tigers’ set, which featured most of Devine’s and opener Brian Bonz’s shared band wandering around the stage (one performer in a wig eating an apple) while the Tigers tried to finish their brilliant set of punchy and sweetly percussive music.

When the playground-style performance was finished, Devine looked into the crowd and asked, “Why would you even stay for the show after that?” But he answered the question by beginning his set with crowd-pleasers “Ballgame” and “Cotton Crush.” It didn’t take long until the Brooklyn boy himself got caught up in the lighthearted tone of the evening, nearing delirium while he spoke between songs and laughed with bandmates over inside jokes from the six-week tour that this show concluded. Two hours, even more laughs, and what felt like his entire discography later, Kevin Devine walked off the stage, home again, having proved exactly why the crowd wanted to stay. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com