Those who were lucky enough to be inside the Brady Theater on Wednesday night were treated to a different, yet fantastic night of music from Primus. The group has churned out a unique brand of music off and on for nearly 30 years, drawing a large following throughout the world. A trio made up of guitar (Larry “Ler“ LaLonde), bass (Les Claypool) and drums (Jay Lane), the roles seem to be reversed for Primus with Claypool and his bass taking the lead and the guitar and drums seemingly keeping time.
As anticipation built, fans chanted their own personal welcome to the group, shouting “Primus sucks!” Two giant astronauts with faces that scanned the crowd framed the stage for the night as various psychedelic images and old video footage ran across a large video screen behind Lane’s drum kit.
Opening with “American Life” Primus took the medium-sized, yet raucous crowd through two hours of music, exploring the majority of their catalog. The band leaned heavily on both their first studio album as well as their most recent album. “Frizzle Fry” produced four songs on the set list, as did “Green Naugahyde.” “Tales From the Punchbowl,” and “Brown Album” saw three songs each played, while “Sailing the Seas of Cheese,” and “Pork Soda” had two each.
Claypool’s vocals were muffled a bit at times, as he frequently used a distorted microphone, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind. To them, his bass-playing skills made up for it. The show didn’t pack a lot of flash – no spotlights were used and there was not a great amount of lighting involved. But then again, no one seemed to mind because a Primus show is about the music.
The show was broken up into two eight-song sets, with a roughly 30-minute intermission. Fans were entertained during the break by watching a few Popeye cartoons on the big screen. Just as the crowd seemed to grow tired of watching Popeye fighting Bluto, the band jumped back on stage and powered through the second set.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
“Frizzle Fry” was a crowd favorite during the opening set, as was the immediately following “Mr. Krinkle” when Claypool switched over to a small upright bass and worked the bow across the strings while wearing a pig mask. “John the Fisherman,” “Southbound Pachyderm,” and “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” drew the loudest applause during the second set, with a small mosh pit breaking out during the latter.
Closing with “Over the Electric Grapevine,” the crowd cheered loudly, prompting them to return for a two-song encore. “Golden Boy” got heads bobbing again as Primus worked towards the night’s finale. The crowd cheered loudly and bounced along as the group finished with “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver.”