Devin Townsend announces plans for “revolutionary” virtual concert

From Loudersound.

Devin Townsend has announced details of a new virtual event titled Empath Volume 2: By Request.

It’ll take place on September 5 at 9pm BST and include the set he was due to perform at this year’s Bloodstock Open Air, with tickets for the “revolutionary” 85-minute show now on sale through StageIt.

Townsend, who has been hosting a series of live events throughout lockdown, explains: “I was thrilled to announce my headlining of Bloodstock this year, and with an eye on doing my first ‘by request’ set that included my entire career. I know there were a lot of people that were really excited as well.

“But then, as we all know, circumstances prevented that from happening, and that was disappointing as the show was meant to be a pivotal moment in my creative career. But every roadblock is an opportunity for something different, so we have come up with a plan to bring you the show in a way I believe will be kind of revolutionary and damned exciting.

“We’ve been working tirelessly to bring you a ‘virtual’ concert of the ‘by request’ set, with musicians playing together, yet all in different parts of the world.

“However, I wanted to do something different, not the ‘Brady Bunch’ type split screen visuals filmed on smartphones. They’re cool, but also not really exciting in my opinion.

“Instead, we have opted to make a full production, filming ourselves separately, playing our instruments live, on green screens, with eight cameras each and then combine these elements on a crazy virtual stage. It’s ambitious, but I think the closest to a monster concert as can be achieved this summer.

“Considering everyone is scattered throughout the land yet not wanting to ‘let the dream die’ we have stumbled upon something rather amazing I think.”

Townsend confirms he’ll be joined by drummer Samus Paulicelli, guitarist Wes Hauch and bassist Liam Wilson, and adds: “They have been going crazy learning the material, and we are putting it all together on September 5, for the most ambitious live stream I think I’ve heard of thus far.

“I will be live answering questions and talking to you throughout, to make it a totally interactive experience that acts not only as a cool way to spend a Saturday, but also as a potentially new way to do concerts entirely.

“The players I’ve hired have worked their butts off learning the material, and it’s going to be one of the coolest things I’ve done in recent memory.”

Townsend concludes: “So please consider coming to this. StageIt has allowed the show to be the full 85 minutes, so it will be the full Bloodstock set. I can’t actually believe we’re managing to pull off something like this, and there’s a lot involved with it, but it’s worth it to me.

“It’s not just any ‘quarantine concert’ this one is a quantum leap of sound and visuals. I can’t wait for you to see this, hopefully you’ll consider it.”

Last month, Townsend shared an hour of new ambient music titled Guitar Improvisation #1 and released Empath: The Ultimate Edition through InsideOutMusic.

The revamped version of his 2019 album is spread across 2CDs and 2 Blu-ray and, along with the original album, features a wealth of bonus material, including demos and live cuts.

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