Kevin Devine Announces Solo Acoustic Tour
This Spring With Chris Farren and Adult Mom
photographer credit: Shervin Lainez
Kevin Devine has just announced a solo acoustic tour this spring, with Adult Mom on the east coast and Chris Farren on the west coast. A full list of dates can be found below. Tickets are available here. Kevin Devine will be touring in support of his 9th studio album Instigator, which was released in October 2016. Instigator is available now physically and digitally via Procrastinate Music Traitors.
05/10 – Hamden, CT – The Ballroom at The Outerspace#
05/11 – Providence, RI – Fete Lounge#
05/12 – Asbury Park, NJ – House of Independents#
05/13 – Northampton, MA – Pearl Street#
05/14 – Long Island, NY – Amityville Music Hall#
05/17 – Bethlehem, PA – Blast Furnace#
05/18 – Ithaca, NY – The Haunt#
05/19 – Buffalo, NY – Babeville
05/20 – Toronto, ON – Sneaky Dee’s
05/21 – Rochester, NY – Bug Jar
05/31 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club^
06/01 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer^
06/03 – Seattle, WA – Barboza*
06/04 – Portland, OR – Bunk Bar*
06/06 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom Of The Hill*
06/07 – Fresno, CA – Strummer’s*
06/08 – San Diego, CA – Soda Bar*
06/09 – Orange County, CA – Constellation Roon*
06/10 – Las Vegas, NV – Bunkhouse Salon*
06/11 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge*
08/03 – Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza
# = w/ Adult Mom
^ = w/ Frightened Rabbit
* = w/ Chris Farren
Kevin Devine is used to living life in the gray. For the past 14 years, the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter has oscillated between As and Bs: intimate acoustic moments and bombastic rock songs; deeply introspective lyrics and socio-political charges; the storm cloud and its silver lining.
Produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) and released via Brand New’s Procrastinate! Music Traitors label in October of 2016, Instigator is Devine’s ninth full-length album and comes on the heels of a busy few years: In addition to recording two albums with Bad Books (the indie-rock supergroup he formed with members of Manchester Orchestra), he released the Kickstarter-funded double-album collection Bubblegum and Bulldozer in 2013 along with the wildly ambitious 2015 Devinyl Splits 7” series with the likes of Brand New’s Jesse Lacey, Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves and Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws.
Devine is a master storyteller, and he imbues Instigator – from the biting power-pop of “Both Ways” and “No Why” to the angular, Nirvana-esque “Guard Your Gates” & gorgeously finger-picked “No One Says You Have To” – with intricate details and often-uncomfortable truths. Their meanings are personal, but their themes are universal. It’s a skill that makes both his albums and his live show so alluring: Even when Devine’s writing about the world at large, he’s pointing a mirror back at himself.
That sensibility is present on “Freddie Gray Blues,” a harrowing portrait of the events surrounding the 2015 death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police officers. Over haunting acoustic-based talking blues, Devine pays tribute to Gray before digging deep into his own past to reconcile both his privilege and social status as the son, grandson and nephew of NYPD officers. “I don’t think there’s a way for a person in my position to sing that song credibly without talking about why I’m in the room,” he says.
And it’s there on “No History,” a string of personal vignettes centered on the September 11, 2001 attacks. It’s a song made much more meaningful by both the din of the 2016 presidential election and current global climate—a cautionary tale that one moment in time has wildly lasting repercussions.
When Devine’s past lives meet his present-day self on the career-defining “I Was Alive Back Then,” the beautiful duality of his art takes center stage: Life is never all peril or perfection, a country ripped apart by war and social injustice or the joy of holding your child for the first time. The extremes might be easier to define, but it’s in the middle where life really happens.
“That’s how I write records,” he continues. “You want to write about real shit. It’s really trying to communicate what I think it’s like to be me—even though I don’t know that all the time—and in the process help people touch a little closer what it’s like to be them, too.”