Primus 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.
Prelude to a Crawl
Last Salmon Man
Over the Falls
Lee Van Cleef
Eyes of the Squirrel
Del Davis Tree Farm
Those Damn Blue Collar Tweekers
Return of Sathington Willoughby
Eternal Consumption Engine
Jilly’s on Smack
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Over the Electric Grapevine
Hello Skinny (Residents)
Jerry Was a Race Car Driver
Tommy the Cat -> The Awakening -> Tommy the Cat
Primus is one of the very few bands that I loved growing up that I still really enjoy and respect today. I don’t think there has been any album before or since that sounds anything at all like Pork Soda.
That being said, when Green Naugahyde was announced, I was both excited and skeptical. It’s been eight years since they’ve written anything. I wouldn’t say I dislike Claypool’s solo stuff, but I don’t really listen to it much. On top of that, these things aren’t usually very good. The best you should hope for is a listenable rehash.
So when I got the album a couple weeks back, I was surprised that I enjoyed it quite a bit more than I expected. And after two weeks of plays, I fucking love it. And I know it’s early, but I think it’s comparable to the stuff they were putting out in their prime.
I hear a lot of people (maybe even the band themselves; in an age of being assaulted with a barrage of info, it’s tough to keep track of all the sources) are comparing the album to their very early works, I don’t really hear it that much. If anything, it’s way more of a continuation of the dark psychedelia of Tales From the Punchbowl and mature songwriting of The Brown Album which would be the later half of their main existence.
They’ve been playing a lot of these songs live over the past eight months. They’re pretty available if you haven’t heard them. And while these songs play great live (especially Moron TV), they’re a bit more stripped-down rock and roll versions and aren’t the best representations of Green Naugahyde. The studio really compliments the songs to make the album play well as a whole.
Anyway if you’re new or a longtime Primus fan, this is a great album that totally stands on its own. It doesn’t feel like some reunion cash-grab. If you’re like me, you should love it.
Green Naugahyde will be released by Prawn Song Records on September 13th.
Even though they haven’t released anything new in seven years (and arguably anything good in twelve), I’m always excited when Primus comes to town. Part of it’s nostalgia, but a lot of it is that I think that their music still holds up after twenty years (which I wouldn’t say of most of the bands that I listened to in high school).
This tour is pretty unique because its the first tour they’ve played with Jay Lane, their original (like, pre-Suck On This original) drummer in twenty-something years; the first time I’ve ever seen or even heard this line-up. And it was an outdoor show, which I enjoy, but don’t really see a lot.
The first band was The Dead Kenny G’s, whom I really wanted to see, not just because of their hilarious name, but also because they’re a jazz group composed of Frog Brigade Alumni. Unfortunately, due to super-early start time, I did not make it in time to see them.
They next band was Golgol Bordello who were drove me to drinking, and I didn’t even thank them for it. They were absolutely awful. And I don’t know this from watching their set (for when I learned that I missed the Dead Kenny G’s and that GB were up next, I hightailed it away from the Waterfront, and to the Brooklyn Brewery where I drank delicious beer), but because I’ve heard them before and know that there is nothing remotely interesting about this band. And before you start commenting on how close-minded I am: No. Stop. Whatever you’re about to type is wrong.
When Primus hit the stage, they opened with Too Many Puppies. They sounded great. Jay Lane did a terrific job drumming. They didn’t jam out way too much like they’ve been doing since they reunited. Over half the set was from Seas of Cheese. They played nothing off of Pork Soda, which was a little upsetting. I would say the highlight of the night was Harold of the Rocks, which they closed off the main set with. Over the Electric Grapevine was also really cool. Here’s the full setlist:
Here Come the Bastards
Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers
Over the Falls
Jerry Was A Race Car Driver
Over the Electric Grapevine
Drum and Whamola Jam
Harold of the Rocks
Tommy the Cat > The Awakening > Tommy the Cat