NPR logo Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo

When I first saw Devo, I was dressed in a yellow radiation suit. It was October, 1978, and the band was on its first tour. It was the first and last time I was inspired to "dress up" for a concert, but these guys were special. (I wish I had a photo, maybe an old friend will come out of the woodwork and send me one).

Last night at the 9:30 Club, Devo returned to perform its entire first album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo. It was just as good as that 1978 show I saw, minus the surprise of seeing a band like this for the first time.

This was always a quirky and fun group, and it still is. We had hoped to webcast the show. The band wanted to and we wanted to, but, in the end, we couldn't come to terms with Warner Brothers over rights issues. So just 24 hours before the show was to go live, we felt like we had no choice but to pass on it.

That said, something quite historic happened last night. After the band played its last song, the house lights came on and the Devo muzak started playing through the house monitors. But a very vocal majority of the audience stayed and screamed and chanted "D-E-V-O." More then 10 minutes passed. And just when we were about to lose any hope that the band would reappear, Devo returned to the stage. The house lights stayed on, but everyone went crazy.

Those in the audience who were lucky enough to stay took an oath. Booji Boy (Mark Mothersbaugh's alter ego) made us swear that... well, I can't tell you exactly what happened, because I took the oath. But I can tell you that the oath was "Swear not tell anyone you saw Devo perform in street clothes."

That's all I can tell you. But it's a "Beautiful World."

Tonight the band returns to perform Freedom of Choice.