Last Sunday I made my first solo trek to a show for two reasons: 1) my friends don’t like fun and 2) it was for Primus. After catching their set at Rothbury 2008 I had been dying to see them again once I was more familiar with their catalog. I missed their stop in Cleveland this summer because of school and wasn’t about to pass up another chance to catch them before they wrapped up their current tour.
After impressive opening support from punk-bluegrass trio Split Lip Rayfield and prog-rockers Portugal The Man the performers which are part of The Oddity Tour took the stage to showcase some freak show style acrobatics such as eating glass, laying on nails, and drinking window cleaner. The crowd was very unimpressed as fans booed and repeatedly chanted the classic “Primus Sucks!”
After only a few minutes the performers left the stage and the house lights went off as the crowd roared. The intensity swelled as Claypool, Ler, and Lane took the stage and broke right into “Pudding Time” instantly creating mosh pits. They continued right into “Here Come The Bastards” as Claypool did his patented high knee march around the stage as everyone on the floor jumped in unison. Next came the Police cover “Behind My Camel” which slowed things down just enough to allow me to fight my way to the right side of the stage to be right in front of Colonel Claypool just as they broke into “Groundhog’s Day” followed by “Those Damn Blue Collar Tweekers,” as the crowd belted out “Heyy-ya!”
Next the band would showcase a few classics from their Brown Album as they played almost continuously through “Duchess And The Proverbial Mind Spread” and “Over The Falls” before covering Tom Waits’ “Big In Japan.” Jay Lane then stole the show with an impressive drum solo while Claypool busted out the Whamola and monkey mask for an epic jam. They went right back to the Brown Album for the state-appropriate “Kalamazoo” which everyone sang along with. My personal favorite came next as they broke into “The Toys Go Winding Down” which immediately had everyone jumping and moshing again.
At this point Claypool stopped to talk to the two ladies in the front row waving their bras. They were pleading with him to play “Tommy The Cat” to which Les responded, “This next song is not Tommy The Cat,” as he began “American Life” followed by fan favorite “My Name Is Mud.” Then Les unfortunately informed everyone that “It’s getting to be that time in the night when things come to a close.” Though this was met with loud boos the crowd erupted with cheers yet again as they rounded out the set with “Jerry Is A Race Car Driver.”
Primus cleared the stage for a few minutes as the crowd’s roar grew and grew before they finally returned for an encore. Everyone in the place seemed to go crazy as they jumped right into the funky “Tommy The Cat.” Though I was hoping for another personal favorite (“Mr. Know It All”) “Tommy The Cat” was very fitting seeing as Les had teased us about it before.
The 5 hours—round trip—of driving through shitty Ohio weather was well worth it seeing as they don’t have any other U.S. tour dates on the horizon. This time around, as compared to Rothbury, I could anticipate every word and bass slap because I was more familiar with all their songs which made the show 10x as fun. I can only hope they continue to tour and next time I can get some of my lame friends to tag along.