By Samir Shukla
Devo, the misfits of musical devolution, have been upending, twisting, and reassembling musical forms for over four decades. In this concert recording filmed live on June 28, 2014 at the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA, the band returns to its eclectic, experimental roots by performing tracks written between 1974 and 1977. Their music confounded audiences in those early days. It was the era of arena rock and Devo’s musical shenanigans went right over the heads of most people. But the band persevered and influenced many punk and new wave bands that would emerge later in the decade. Filmmaker Keirda Bahruth captures Devo having a blast revisiting and performing songs they haven’t played in years. Devo barely broke into the world of top-40 with quirky numbers like “Whip It” and “Working in the Coalmine.” But this DVD isn’t about the hits. When they jammed and wrote songs in those early days in the basements and garages of Akron, Ohio, they clearly couldn’t less about commercial success. Hardcore Devo features the band performing 21of those compositions in a concert that became a tribute to the original Devo bandmate, guitarist and keyboardist Robert "Bob 2" Casale, who died a few months before this performance. The tracks include, “Mechanical Man, “Space Girl Blues,” “Bamboo Bimbo, “Satisfaction,” “Be Stiff,” “Uncontrollable Urge,” and “Jocko Homo.” The DVD, with a running time of about 84 minutes, also includes interviews, extra clips like building the “Satisfaction” guitar, an alternate opening of the film and more.