Primus @ Hammerstein Ballroom, New York 10-19-12

543425 488012807900347 1911754388 n 150x150 Primus @ Hammerstein Ballroom, New York 10 19 12Primus is in the midst of their 3-D Tour complete with glasses for their visual show and a surround sound audio setup that they are bringing to the venues. It’s a pretty cool gimmick. The 3-D looked like there were bubbles and other random things floating around on the stage. It sounded great. Although the few times I’ve been to the Hammerstein Ballroom always sounded great.

And what really matters is that the music was great. They played for about two and a half hours combined, and really pulled out some cool rarely (if ever) played tunes. I’ve been seeing Primus for many years now. And recently it’s kind of been mostly favorites from their first two albums. For me at least. I know they change up their sets from night to night.

The highlight for me was hearing them open up the second set with The Return of Sathington Willoughby which is something I never would have thought they would ever play live. Hamburger Train was also very cool. I haven’t been able to see them since the release of Green Naugahyde, so all the new songs were also treats. There was also a lot of Punchbowl, and Les played Big Rock Candy Mountain solo.

The night was closed out with HOINFODAMAN and Tommy the Cat. Both were accompanied with particularly killer guitar solos.

1st Set
American Life
Prelude to a Crawl
Last Salmon Man
Frizzle Fry
Over the Falls
Lee Van Cleef
Eyes of the Squirrel
Hamburger Train
Del Davis Tree Farm
Those Damn Blue Collar Tweekers

2nd Set
Return of Sathington Willoughby
Moron TV
Southbound Pachyderm
Eternal Consumption Engine
Glass Sandwich
Jilly’s on Smack
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Hats Off
Over the Electric Grapevine
Hello Skinny (Residents)
Jerry Was a Race Car Driver

Encore
HOINFODAMAN
Tommy the Cat -> The Awakening -> Tommy the Cat

Creamfields: Saturday 27,08,2011 Daresbury

“Flippin’ heck! Harry Hill’ll ‘ave to extend his show by forty minutes to fit in all the footage of revellers goin’ arse over tit in this swamp field.”

This quote from one of the dance hungry revellers making their way across scarily dicey mud and scuzz addled field summed up the thoughts of many, concerning the obstacle facing their entrance to the sold out event. It would have meant Andy Dufresne would have still have been in Shawshank had he had to get across this field to freedom, instead crawling through a sewage-pipe.

The rewards for navigating the mud swamp were immediate and satisfying. Futuristic synth manipulator Sonny Moore aka SKRILLEX, doles out a post-trance, futuristic old skool and industrial rock influenced, mosh-pit inducing set. The part-paranoid, part ghoulish ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’, is received with such varied dancing, you think you’re at a silent disco. It makes for the perfect energetic, yet wandering and delving start to a festival that is well and truly under the post-riots microscope.

Spellbinding atmospherics over on the ‘Clublife Stage’, fail to distract you from a largely lethargic set of electronica from the Philly based Diplo. Tired beats create a laboured feel, but revellers are still determined to make the most of it and a few ‘whoop-whoops’ provides some needed relief and humour. A distorted vocal laden, philistine groove kicked, noirsh interludes set from Jack Beats on the Annie Mac Stage, awakens the demons in you. The set highlight is the devilish mash up of Wolfgang Gartner’s ‘Menage A Trois’.

Several people are already regretting their decision to choose designer trainers over sturdy wellies. Spirits are still high though and, the atmosphere remains friendly and upbeat. This, you sense, is the main victory; the music could be crap and it wouldn’t matter. Good job it isn’t, though.

After a largely disappointing headline set here in 2007, the Chemical Brothers have some making up to do. It’s almost as though Ed and Tom are aware of this, as from the off they have oodles more energy and presence. Transcendent beats set off waves of energetic dancing, as a sturdy, tempo rising set kicks in. Anthemic classic, ‘Hey Boy, Hey Girl’ sets the place ablaze and the more down-tempo ‘Don’t Think’, caters for the ranging moods of the sizable crowd.

You wouldn’t expect anything other than an eclectic set of jungle through to trance and a few stops in between, from the lady fast becoming dance music’s answer to John Peel; Annie Mac. Still it’s none the less fresh and invigorating when it does arrive. It’s a tough job for her to top off an impressive line-up on her own stage, but the lady done good.

A packed ‘Size Matters Stage’ bounces to a disco merging, mesmeric lights inclusive and hardcore spiked headline set from Steve Angelo. Creeping ambient building and crushing chorus inclusive ‘Save The World (Knife Party Remix)’, re-energises the crowd and they are eating out of his hand. This is the perfect time for a soaring mash up of ‘We Are Your Friends’. Easily justifying a headline slot and sending revellers out into the night with that buzzing feel-good feeling.

Melvins @ The Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn 6-6+7-11

Following January’s four-show Spaceland residency in LA, The Melvins decided to take their show on the road with an Endless Residency mini-tour: Seven cities. Two nights each. Two albums (2EPs = 1 album. It’s basic algebra, guys.) per night. Last week I was able to catch them when they stopped by Brooklyn.

Set 1-Eggnog/Lysol:

If you’ve ever seen The Melvins do one of these album things (or even if you have their live Houdini album), you know that they don’t stick very closely to the album’s original track listing. Their first set was a mashup of two EPs.

They opened up their two-night stand with nearly 40 minutes of sludgy drone: Charmicarmicat, Hung Bunny, and Roman Bird Dog. Then they blew through the rest of Eggnog in reverse order (which was really weird) and played the rest of Lysol, closing with Flipper’s Sacrifice.

Set 2-Houdini:

If The Melvins have a commercially successful album, I guess this is it. The song order was very similar to the way it was played a couple years back for their 25th anniversary shows. However, it was still a pretty different experience with the four piece.

Set 3-Bullhead:

This was probably my favorite set from the two nights. Hearing Zodiac is always a blast, and I’ve been wanting to hear You’re Blessened and Cow live for a long time. If I’ve ever heard them live before, it was a long time ago before I had Bullhead and didn’t know what they were. Anyway, they closed with Boris, which is cool because I think they stretch out the end part more and more every time they play it. They also add all these weird and goofy things in there too which is always fun.

Set 4-Stoner Witch:

Another really great set. I haven’t seen them play most of these songs before at all. They opened up with the slow building Levidity, rocked their way through the album in no particular order, and closed with Shevil.

At the end of the song, Buzz and Jared left the stage leaving Dale and Coady by themselves to close out the two-night stint with some insane drumming, which was already pretty mind-shattering right there. But after a while, I think it was Coady (but could have been Dale) started calling for Vinny. So Vinny Signorelli (Foetus, Swans, Unsane) walked onstage, took Dale’s spot at the drums, and Dale played drums from the front of the drum set. Unbelievable finish.

Anyway, great shows. There’s one city left. If you live in Minneapolis, go see both nights. It’s amazing.

O’Death @ The Knitting Factory, Brooklyn 4-15-11

l1 150x150 ODeath @ The Knitting Factory, Brooklyn 4 15 11In last week’s show review, I mentioned this perfect storm kind of thing leading up to The Builders and the Butchers performance. Well, Friday there kind of the antithesis of that; it was cold, I wasn’t that impressed by the opening bands, and the Blackhawks were getting beaten every time I checked. Nonetheless O’Death put on a very good show, and I had a great time anyway.

They opened with Head Home and a few other classics before  going into some stuff off of the upcoming album, Outside (which is very good, and I hope to get a full review up tomorrow). The new tunes sound really good live, and they probably played most of it (at least more than half).

I would say that Alamar, Down to Rest, and Ghost Head were the highlights of the night. The setlist was a good mix of the two recent albums with some of Head Home sprinkled in. The band played tight, and the mix sounded good. All in all it was a great show. They closed with a song off of Head Home, but I can’t for the life of me remember which one. Sorry.