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Kevin Devine Celebrates

December 3rd, 2012

Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band – Webster Hall – December 1, 2012


Bucking the recent trend of shows and tours based around 10-year anniversaries of album releases, Kevin Devine took a slightly different route this past Saturday night at Webster Hall, instead celebrating the 10 years he and his backing band(s) have played together. The night, which featured no other acts, was split into three sets, each dedicated to a different album. Up first, 200s’s Circle Gets the Square earned an entirely acoustic performance from Devine, which capably displayed his ability to arrest a crowd’s focus with his stunning solo presence. Over the years, he’s showed off this skill on a song or two at various venues throughout the city, but to see him quiet a bigger room for an entire album’s worth of songs was a new and special experience.

During the next two sets, Devine was supported by the different arrangements of the Goddamn Band’s incarnations over the years. They played his most recent album—Between the Concrete & Clouds—first, in part because the band didn’t originally have the chance to play many of the songs due to touring schedules after its release. The crowd, which had been in awe during the first set, was now whipping about to the louder, faster and familiar sounds of the Goddamn Band. When that album was finished, Devine and
Co. followed it with 2005’s Split the Country, Split the Street, which rounded out the night with a blend of louder and quieter moments, and even saw a few guest appearances, like Brand New’s Jesse Lacey.

Ask fans of Kevin Devine’s why they like to see him play again and again, and a common thread will emerge: His concerts always feel like homecoming shows, and that adds something special to them. During the encore, with celebratory cards being passed around for people to sign, plus Devine’s family among the more than 1,000 loyal fans in the room, he thanked everyone for being a part of the band. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com