Tour Tales

Primus Delivers 3D Odyssey To Miami Diehards

Primus Delivers 3D Odyssey To Miami Diehards

As the lights illuminated the stage and the funk-metal superstars of Primus stepped into their element, the crowd released a thunderous roar in anticipation of the weirdness about to be unleashed. Initial notes signaled that 3D glasses should be fastened, and Primus’s inter-dimensional odyssey began. Les Claypool’s entrancing vocals and booty-bumping bass quickly turned the Fillmore Miami Beach into a parallel universe powered by protruding psychedelic imagery, face-melting guitar riffs, and free-flowing rhythmic breakdowns. With many of South Florida’s concertgoers at Bear Creek, the crowd was filled with old-time diehards, creating a particularly intimate feel for the night on Saturday, November 10.

As the lights illuminated the stage and the funk-metal superstars of Primus stepped into their element, the crowd released a thunderous roar in anticipation of the weirdness about to be unleashed. Initial notes signaled that 3D glasses should be fastened, and Primus’s inter-dimensional odyssey began. Les Claypool’s entrancing vocals and booty-bumping bass quickly turned the Fillmore Miami Beach into a parallel universe powered by protruding psychedelic imagery, face-melting guitar riffs, and free-flowing rhythmic breakdowns. With many of South Florida’s concertgoers at Bear Creek, the crowd was filled with old-time diehards, creating a particularly intimate feel for the night on Saturday, November 10.

The immaculate stage setup consisted of two giant astronauts on each side of the stage and a centered 3D projection. On the visors of the spacemen were flashes of a man’s face, which constantly changed expressions. Overhanging lights shimmered over the band, encasing them in a vibrant energy that perfectly complemented the 3D imagery, as well as the overall vibe. The idea of utilizing 3D imagery, complete with the distribution of 3D glasses was unique to Primus’s past tours, and has definitely solidified the act as a game-changer in the live music world.

Continuing their recent trend of incorporating a plethora of old hits, as well glimpses of their newest album, Green Naugahyde, the band opened the show with “Those Damn Blue-Collar Tweekers” from the 1991’s, Sailing the Seas of Cheese, followed by new singles, “Prelude to Crawl” and “Last Salmon Man,” both from Green Naugahyde. There were multiple segments in which Primus would play an older song, transition into newer material, and then segue back into another aged classic. They did an excellent job of mixing up the setlist, incorporating every studio album.

The set break was easily the most peculiar set break of all time. After the band left the stage briefly, episodes of Popeye the Sailor Man were played on the 3D projection screen. Leave it to the Wizard of Weird, Colonial Claypool to conceive an idea as odd as playing Popeye, instead of music during a set break.

The second set began with a newer, particularly odd single entitled, “The Eyes of the Squirrel,” which had an intensely psychedelic ending used to transition perfectly into the classic hit, “Groundhog’s Day,” followed by an especially spacey rendition of the title track off Frizzle Fry. It appeared that the band was playing with as much energy, creativity and tenacity as ever before; segues were pristine, improvisation was streaming and inspiring, and the song selection kept the audience guessing. Smiles and humorous banter made it clear that Primus was having a great time, and the magic was certainly there. Claypool’s machine-gun bass riffs provided a strong foundation throughout the night for bandmates Jay Lane (drums) and Larry “Ler” LaLonde (guitar). There were multiple musical sequences consisting of call-and-response-style jamming between the three members of the band.

The second set concluded with a brain-shaking rendition of timeless favorite, “Tommy the Cat.” As soon as the initial bass riff popped off Claypool’s strings, the crowd erupted in a joyous cheer, welcoming the hit song from Sailing the Seas of Cheese. As the climactic chorus approached, fans were good and ready. When it came time for jam-provoking lyrics, fans echoed the line, “Say baby/ Do you want to lay down by me,” two times before the entire band, joined by the crowd, passionately screamed “Say baby! Say baby!” The lyrics were quickly answered by a forceful breakdown that seemed to quake the Earth and provoke an otherworldly dance party.

An afterthought: Primus is one of the few bands that has performed on the main stages of both Bonnaroo as well as Ozzfest, while maintaining success in both realms. Although the jamband/funk scenes seem to be polar opposites of the scenes surrounding heavier music, such as metal, Primus has provided a happy meeting ground. The unique blend of psychedelic rock, funk and heavy metal held together with relentless rhythm and improvisation, has established Primus as one of the most influential live band experiences of all time. The recent utilization of a 3D lighting scheme on their current tour has helped to further claim the band as one of the most entertaining and unique touring acts to-date.

Photos by Melodysiac © 2012

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victor

November 14th, 2012

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