Renowned multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer and now ringleader Devin Townsend performed a couple of songs from his STRAPPING YOUNG LAD project for the first time in years last night (Saturday, October 27) at the Roundhouse venue in London, England as part of a one-night-only event that was recorded for both DVD and Blu-ray, likely to be released sometime in the second quarter of 2013 via InsideOut Music. Devin was joined on stage for the STRAPPING YOUNG LAD tracks by the band's former guitarist Jed Simon, who wrote on his Facebook page after the concert, "Well, all done and the cat is out of the bag. It was an awesome experience and my heart feels that much better because of it. You are my brother and my friend, Dev. Thank you." He added, "Byron [Stroud, SYL bassist] and Gene [Hoglan, SYL drummer]...you were on my sleeve, my brothers. I love you."
Devin described The Retinal Circus as "a retrospective of my career in music to date, with the central theme being a metaphor of how life and the adventures therein are a 'circus' of sorts. The show involves a cast of characters and guests that support this theme through carnival type performances. A story about how a troubled young man dreams of fantastic scenarios, (illustrated through the music of my back catalogue), which ultimately crests in the characters realization that life is all about the relationships we have with each other. This is the first opportunity I have been given to make theatrical representations of my music."
This three-hour-plus performance included:
* A retrospective of Devin Townsend's entire career
* Full choir and theatrical cast
* Visual and aural enhancements unlike any show Devin has done to date
* Several special guests
* Circus and carnival performances and cast
* Art exhibit of Devin's albums, including explanations of each album
In a January 2012 interview, Devin stated about his decision to put STRAPPING YOUNG LAD to rest, "I don't miss the environment; the environment was really bad for me — it wasn't a healthy place for me to live emotionally or chemically." He added, "You have to make a choice to be happy in your life, because it's very easy to be paid to be miserable and that whole situation, although Byron, Jed and Gene are all good friends, everything that surrounded that band became very negative and I don't miss that shit at all, man … Without making that life change, [I'd] have been stuck where I was and the writing was on the wall and I say that and again I can say that until I'm blue in the face and people still wouldn't get that, but staying there would have stunted me emotionally for the rest of my life, so I chose not to. It's nothing against the music. I'm very proud of the music, I think it's awesome, but it's not me anymore."