“If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it…”
Let me start by saying that there is no performance… by anyone… anywhere… that makes me as ridiculously, giddily, grinning-from-ear-to-ear-like-an-idiot happy as Devo 2.0 performing “Ice Ice Baby”.
The sheer audacious, totally committed honest absurdity of this performance is either the most meta commentary on the cheesiness of 1980’s pop culture – or it is someone having such a simply perfect time enjoying himself being so retro-not-cool-cool – or perhaps both at once, that I bow down in utter devo-tion (ha!) and respect.
Now if you read the article on the band that Devo 2.0 performs with at Disneyland’s Tomorrowland Terrace, The 80z All-Stars, you’re probably wondering why I’m talking about a rap song when Devo is the bass player of the group. Well, it’s because on many (and happily most) performing nights, lead singer Nigel graciously gives over the stage to the pure beautiful fromage that is Devo 2.0’s awesome rapping and DANCING ability to the Vanilla Ice hit.
I will grant that Devo is also an awesome bass player. I love to watch his hands work their magic and listen to him play, but the man was born to perform and even when I try to focus on the music, it’s his utter love of being on the stage and interacting with the crowd that is clearly his greatest joy and greatest gift as a performer.
So here we go again: PEACOCK ALERT! Yeah, I can’t help what appeals to me most onstage.
While giving serious respect to the leader of the band, Nigel (who is also a talented guy to be featured at a future date because he deserves his own spotlight too!), it was Devo 2.0 who got me to watch The 80z All-Stars and he’s the one who still grabs my fannish heart and my attention whenever I see him onstage.
I just adore this guy and his incredible ability to be simultaneously over the top silly, self-mocking, and yet still able to make any fan melt into a puddle when he turns his attention to them. I’ve never seen anything like it. And yet, that’s his greatest talent – to be both a successful parody of a “rock star” and yet still have that star power over a crowd in its reactions to him. He is just something really special – both as a musician and especially as a performer. And never moreso than when he completely indulges in the thoroughly joyous gibberish of “Ice Ice Baby”.
Word to your mother.
Is he your favorite performer?