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The Devlins (Wednesday, March 16, 2005, Ascot Room at The Quest, Minneapolis)

The Devlins - Photo by Danny Cinch
By Sean Sauder

The first thing I noticed when I got to The Ascot Room at The Quest on Wednesday was that there were no drums set up. The next thing I noticed was that they'd moved the bar since I'd been there last. After a slight panic, I located the new bar location. But the next trauma I experienced was the beer selection – a choice of Budweiser, Bud Light, or Michelob Golden Draft. Surely this was a nightmare that I'd wake up from to find Guinness or something resembling real beer. But alas, it was not to meant to be, and I was forced to choke down a few Budweisers throughout the evening.

I first fell in love with The Devlins in 1994 on a cross country drinking excursion with a couple of friends (those were the days!). A stop in St. Louis, MO that was supposed to last one night turned into a week. One of those nights (or as The Eagles would say, "one of those crazy ole nights"), upon venturing into Mississippi Nights, I was totally blown away by this Irish band called The Devlins, the second best band to ever come out of Ireland. (Sorry U2 - The Cranberries are #1, in my book.)

(An interesting side note: the opening act that night in ’94 was Danielle Brisebois - pre New Radicals, post Archie Bunker - I wish I could remember anything about her set, but unfortunately, I can't -- damn you, demon alcohol!)

I immediately went out and bought The Devlins debut album, Drift, which I have continued to listen to frequently to this day. Later I discovered their second album, Waiting, but never saw them come through Minneapolis on tour or heard much more about them until a couple years ago when Colin Devlin played a solo show opening for Hothouse Flowers at First Avenue in Minneapolis. [David de Young attended that show and reviewed it here.] I really enjoyed the show, but was left wanting to see the full band again.

You can imagine my excitement when I saw The Devlins booked at The Ascot Room at The Quest this year. I did a little research and found that they'd released two albums since 2002 and have been featured in the soundtracks of the HBO series, Six Feet Under, and the motion picture, Closer.

The band Wednesday at The Ascot Room featured Colin Devlin (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Peter Devlin (bass, backing vocals), and Mark Murphy (electric guitar). No reason was given for the absence of a drummer, but I can only assume it wasn't in the touring budget to carry a drummer (maybe I'm wrong?). That being said, the three of them put on a great show.

Overall, I was happy with the set, and it featured a good balance of all 4 albums. However, I was disappointed that three of my favorites weren't played ("Necessary Evil", "Years Could Go By", and "Big Decision").

The band was very friendly and shared many stories with the audience, including what a great time they'd had at the club years before when it was *Glam Slam *(I'm guessing that was probably during the same tour during which I'd seen them in St. Louis.) Also, when they played the song, "World Outside", Colin mentioned, "You may have seen Natalie Portman take her clothes off to this song" (in the movie, Closer), and Peter told of his trouble cashing his traveler's cheques earlier in the day at Wells Fargo - they asked if he had an account with them - "They’re travelers checks. I'm not from here!".


Set List

Lazarus
Reckless
Careless love
Consent
Drift
Don't Let It Break Your Heart
World Outside
Surrender
There Is A Light
Snowbirds
Kill With Me Tonight
Almost Made You Smile
Feel It When You're Gone
Love Is Blindness (a U2 song The Devlins recently recorded with Sharon Corr)
I Don't Want To Be Like This
Waiting

Encore
People Still Believing
Someone To Talk To
Waves


Sean Sauder is ssauder[at]mn.rr.com