Devo's performance at the Eagle St. Saloon in May 25th, 1977 is a landmark in the devlopment of Devo's unique sound. The bootleg of this show catches Devo in the middle of a transition. By this point, they've mostly left behind their art school image behind, trading it in for a simpler working class aesthetic. They perform, no longer in outlandish costumes, but in simple blue workers jumpsuits. While the music still retains, and always will retain, various trappings of art rock, the performance is lean and sounds more like a bar band.
Oddly, Gerald V. Casale takes the lead on most songs, including the intense closing cover of Johnny Rivers' Secret Agent Man (a Devo staple.) In addition, the band performs songs that would never see an album, such as the bizarre Nutty Buddy, the clever Social Fools, the straight forward rocker The Last Time I Saw St. Louis, and the rollocking Huboon Stomp. Huboon Stomp would finally be rerecorded for Chef Aid: The South Park Album over twenty years later. Another song from this performance, Polyvinyl Chloride contains lyrics that would eventually go into Too Much Paranoias. Too Much Paranoias is also performed at this show, in a much slower version, with different lyrics.
While the sound quality of the bootleg is impressive, the songs are often raw and unpolished. Devo had only begun to play for audiences outside of the Cleveland area bar scene, and had yet to tighten its chops. The version of Satisfaction performed at the show, for example, is slowed down and awkward, as is the epic Smart Patrol / Mr. DNA which is dragged on to a whopping nine minutes. Despite this, the performance is still done well, and the band manages to get the crowd excited with a particuarly impressive version of Mongoloid.
This show is a unique one in Devo's history. Anyone with an interest in Devo's development before their first album should track down a copy of this bootleg.