Boy U Want: Garvy J’s Josh Hager to replace the late Bob Casale in Devo’s live band

Elevator Drops' 90s promo photo

Last week we noted that the Arcade Fire added a slew of notable opening acts to its North American summer tour, including new wave/post-punk icons Devo for select dates.

Unfortunately, the two bands aren’t pairing up on the Boston show (at the XFinity Center on August 19), but Devo will have some distinct Massachusetts flavor when they take the stage next month: multi-instrumentalist Josh Hager, known for his work in the Elevator Drops, Garvy J and the Secret Pockets of Hope and Resistance, the Rentals, and others, will join Mark Mothersbaugh and crew on guitar and keyboards.

That’s a position, obviously, held for many years by Devo co-founder Bob Casale, who died in February at the age of 61.


“I don’t think anyone could ever replace Bob 2,” Hager tells Vanyaland. “I’m just sort of picking up a fallen comrade’s instrument and continuing the battle and spreading the message of de-evolution… while hopefully honoring his memory.”

Hager got the news yesterday after auditioning with the band in Los Angeles, and relayed word to friends via social media.

“I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for a week!,” he tells us.


Hager worked on Devo’s 2010 record Something For Everyone, and he is credited with production programming and editing on four tracks.

“My brother is friends with Jerry Casale,” Hager adds. “He recommended I work with them on the record, then when they needed someone [for this tour] I jumped on it. I had to learn the whole set in a week!”

So far the only dates Devo are playing with Arcade Fire are at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, on July 30 and two dates at Chicago’s United Center on August 26 and 27. Hopefully more are added, and we can eventually witness this version of Devo on home turf.

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