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Devo saying hello, not farewell, with festival show

By | Published on Thursday 8 August 2019

Desert Daze 2019

Devo have denied that they are saying farewell or touring, after a festival performance was billed as being part of a “farewell tour”.

The band are set to headline the Desert Daze festival in California this October. The other headliners – Wu-Tang Clan, Ween and The Flaming Lips – are all billed as performing classic albums. Devo needed something underneath their name to balance the design, and somehow the words ‘farewell tour’ got in there. Quite how this happened isn’t clear – the festival hasn’t commented, and the words remain on the poster and elsewhere on the event’s website.

Devo bassist Jerry Casale is adamant that it’s wrong, though, telling Rolling Stone: “If we were going to do a farewell tour we would not call it a farewell tour”. And, if they were planning a farewell tour under another name – he suggests ‘Beginning Was The End’ – “it would be Devo choosing when and where to make the announcement”.

Devo haven’t toured since 2014 and the Desert Daze set will only be their second full live performance since then. Casale and frontman Mark Mothersbaugh have both previously said that they would like to do some sort of farewell tour – “it would be smarter than just fading away”, Casale told Rolling Stone last year – but this apparently still ain’t it.

Mothersbaugh has also admitted that it’s him stopping the band from performing more often, as he is more focussed on his prolific career as a film and TV soundtrack composer. But if he can bring himself to take a break from all that, Casale says that any actual farewell trek might act as some sort of statement about the world, rather than the band.

“Perhaps 2020 before our next presidential [election in the US] would be a perfectly relevant time for Devo to take the stage for one final campaign 40 years after the release of [1980 album] ‘Freedom Of Choice'”, he says. “Since elections are now rigged by right wing judges, rampant gerrymandering, voter suppression, and manipulation of the electoral college to sabotage the popular vote Devo’s canary in the coal mine warning about the loss of liberty and cultural devolution is more dire than ever”.

Well, there you go, 2020 isn’t far away. We may or may not know more soon.