I’ve heard about Primus shows before and I knew I would be entertained no matter what. Primus headlined at the Tabernacle, a fantastic venue in the heart of Atlanta. Up-beat carnival music played in Les Claypool, Jay Lane and Larry “Lerr” LaDonde to the stage. The lower level of the Tabernacle was pumped up and ever fan in the two balconies was standing at their seat in anticipation. Band member’s faces were projected onto giant, blown up astronauts. Every time one set of lights would go down, the audience would cheer like it was Christmas.
As soon as the band took the stage, they immediately “got to work”. The song “To Deny” grabbed the crowd’s attention. Fans were singing along, bouncing their head to the beat. A few fans were even caught “air drumming”. Following up “To Deny” was “Duchess” which had a Jimi Hendrix vibe to it.
Their music is a mix of funk, punk, metal and rock. The show seemed to have even a rock/polka feel. The band looked like they were having fun with each other like it was a jam session rather than a concert. All the dancing on stage and seamless flow between songs, made us feel like we were let in on the jam session between friends. We could tell they’ve been together for twenty years.
“Tweekers”, “Jerry Is A Racecar Driver” and “Over the Falls” showed us that they weren’t focusing so much on the lyrics of the songs, but they were playing more to feature the solos on their instruments. A three to five minute song turned into a ten minute song. Fans were definitely getting their money’s worth. The crowd went crazy when the roadie brought out the electric upright bass for “Big in Japan”.
Occasionally, Les would talk in between songs and the audience would get quiet to hear what he had to say. By the time everyone got quiet, Les would hit them with a beat and it would be right back to jamming. During a break between “Big In Japan” and “John the Fisherman”, Claypool addressed the recent bullying that has been going on in the news. He shared a story about a boy that he used to know that had been bullied and committed suicide; inspiring the song “Mrs. Blaileen”.
The theme of the night was boardwalk sideshow, oddity and carnival and they kept the theme throughout the night. They rocked so hard, it looked like the scaffolding would fall down. Les Claypool and his bass were the main focus of the night, but Primus, as a group, was one of the most entertaining, unique and creative bands I’ve ever encountered…man, that is one hard working drummer!!!
Thanks to our newest contributor Anna Dausner for the review and Tom Dausner for the pictures! As always fabulous work! – Ange Alex
Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad
Jonah Parzen-Johnson has an innate ability to make the baritone sax sound like bagpipes, and maybe that’s why I cried.
Mostly I cried because Jonah tells radiant stories with his saxophone and analog synth, working the brass and pedals to recreate the framework which surrounds his album Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow: Parzen-Johnson wanted to make “something of myself that’s for everybody else.”
Jonah opened his set with “Stay There, I’ll Come to You,” showcasing the harmony between synth and sax right off the bat. With haunting lilts, the two combined into a ribbon of melody, pulsating inside the ear as well as the heart. Much like the song’s title, Jonah was the one approaching the audience as an experimental troubadour of tête-à-tête.
The back stories and thoughts behind each song tied in so well with the raw, almost throaty sax, developing such strong, emotional resonance with the musical layers. The skeleton shook.
Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair
The Sinclair was a packed house Wednesday night for the Speedy Ortiz CD release party; as a hometown gig for the Northampton, MA-based band, kinetic warmth buzzed through friends and fans alike as Sadie Dupuis and crew played their freshly-release Foil Deer track-by-track.
What’s a party without some guests, though? That’s where Krill and Mitski come in.
Krill kicked off the night with some tracks from A Distant Fist Unclenching, other goods from Lucky Leaves. Lead singer/bassist Jonah Furman brought to mind early (read: good) Billy Corgan, which I’m not sure he will appreciate. But I think he’ll appreciate this: I couldn’t stop laughing because then I kept thinking about Marilyn Manson telling Billy Corgan that he looked like Charlie Brown.
Opening with “Theme from Krill,” the Boston trio has a knack for rhythm and melody that burrows into your brain. The dreamy bleakness of “Purity of Heart.” The discordant garage rock and hiccupping guitar and warbly Scooter-ness of “Foot.” Krill’s sound is a good, comfy noise that keeps you wiggling and all that good stuff. Be sure to catch the band at Boston Calling.
Years & Years at Royale Boston
During winter storm Juno, UK electro pop group Years & Years were forced to cancel the first show of their two-night stint in New York City back in January. After the snow finally melted, they made the rounds again this past March, playing several shows in California, South by Southwest before finally landing in Boston.
Due to popular demand, the show was moved from The Sinclair to the Royale in downtown’s Theater District.
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