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