Primus 7/6/18

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When I brought up this show to Ingrid she asked me what kind of music Primus made and I was perplexed. Partially because she did not really know who Primus was and partially because I could not really think of how to describe Primus. I guess in my mind they are a unique mix of rock, funk and psychedelia with a virtuoso bass player that sings.

I had seen Primus almost exactly a year before this but three months after that they released the concept album The Desaturating Seven based on the children’s book The Rainbow Goblins, which was the first album since 1995’s Tales From the Punchbowl to feature drummer Tim Alexander.

This was one of the only times waiting for a ticket paid off because Calvin and I were able to get tickets a couple days before for only $8 with all fees off of StubHub. That is not a typo but it did make me feel like a criminal. Calvin and I showed up with just enough time to grab a beer before Mastodon took the stage to open. I have tried to like Mastodon but it just does not speak to me. This time of trying to like them was no different so I took the opportunity to stock up on beer while the lines were short. In hindsight I probably did not need much more beer since I started out the night with my first six pack of the hemp infused 7% New Belgium beer The Hemperor.

I love that Primus sandwiched The Desaturating Seven album in its entirety in between a choice selection of songs from Suck On This, Frizzle Fry, Sailing the Seas of Cheese and Pork Soda. Sneaky sneaky. This may have been the first time I ever saw “Nature Boy” live and it was worth the wait.

SETLIST: To Defy the Laws of Tradition, Pudding Time, Here Come the Bastards, Too Many Puppies, The Star-Spangled Banner, American Life, The Valley, The Seven, The Trek, The Scheme, The Dream, The Storm, The Ends?, Nature Boy, Welcome to This World, My Name is Mud, Jerry Was a Race Car Driver, John the Fisherman

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Tool 6/24/17

ToolFest

It’s hard to believe that it had been nearly eight years since the last time I saw Tool and almost equally hard to believe that 10,000 Days from 11 years ago was still their newest release. Due to so many concerts this year I almost didn’t go but as the date got closer the lineup just became too good to pass up. Unofficially dubbed “ToolFest,” the lineup boasted Tool’s friends and past touring mates Melvins, Fantomas, Clutch and Primus with The Crystal Method filling in the gaps between bands. It was supposed to be Bob and me but Bob bailed and Joe decided to fly down from Portland to go with me.

The Glen Helen Amphitheater is kind of out in the middle of nowhere so the nearest hotels are about 12 miles away in San Bernardino proper and San Bernardino is sketchy. At 1 pm we arrived at the ghetto fabulous Motel 6 to see an unfilled swimming pool, cheap banner wrapped around the official sign and an armed guard. Even that was a first for me but almost any accommodations are good for a night when you’ve been drinking. Anyways it was 1 pm but check in was not until 3 pm. This caused an issue because doors to the show were at 2 pm, for once we wanted to see every band playing and we were hoping to get a little pregame in to save some money on the $13.50 we knew each beer would be at the venue. Once we walked into the office to talk to the front desk guy who was behind bulletproof glass about checking in early we saw that there were two different couples who appeared to be trying to do the same thing. While one couple was at the window we started chatting with the other couple that had come all the way up from halfway down Baja in Mexico. What happened next was one of the strangest moments I have ever had. The couple at the window informed us nobody was going to be allowed to check in until three and walked out of the office. The other couple from Mexico then asked us if we wanted their room for free. Joe and I thought they meant we could hang out in their room but apparently they decided to stay somewhere else for the night and could not get a refund for this night and were only in the office to get a receipt of some kind. This solved all of our woes and saved us some money that we could then blow on beer. It is still hard to wrap my head around that moment even while writing this. That couple knew us for 60 seconds and decided that we could be trusted not to trash the place and charge any damages to their credit card. No complaints here.

After drinking some of the beer obtained from the padlocked coolers at the gas station across the street and a short Uber ride we were ready to take on the crisp 100 degrees without a cloud in the sky and rock. The venue holds 60k people so once we got settled we found a spot at the front of the lawn section to watch King Buzzo in a bizarro robe and the rest of the Melvins. It was a little ironic that I had not seen Melvins since I saw them back in 2004 with Joe in Portland. “Queen” put a smile on my face and my neck on notice. They also played a dissonantly heavy version of the Beatles “I Want To Hold Your Hand” that was cool.

I had never seen Fantomas so I was interested to see if their stage presence was as crazy as some of their music. Unfortunately Mike Patton’s microphone was fucked up for most of the set, which put a damper on some of the frenetic energy I was hoping for.

Next up was Clutch and they were the kick in the nuts that the crowd needed to waken them from their heat and beer induced slumber. My last time seeing Clutch was also with Joe at Aftershock a couple years back. I won the bet with him that Clutch would not play super old stuff but I was still plenty happy with newer rockers like “Firebirds!” and “X-Ray Visions.”

I had not seen Primus since the 3D tour almost five years before. They opened with one of my personal favorites “Those Damned Blue Collared Tweekers” and then pretty much stuck to the hits. “My Name is Mud” was Bad.Ass. At this point the sun had finally started to do down to give us some reprieve and for the first time in the day the video monitors fired up. Prior to this there were no visual effects or so much as a band backdrop for any band. Judging by the many Tool t-shirts in the crowd I do not think that bothered one person here, as that stood to enhance Tool’s world-class laser light production that much more.

The only taste of newness we got from Tool was “Descending,” a tune they have been playing live for awhile that is more like a teaser/movie trailer of the actual song according to Adam Jones. Although I do miss the early days when Maynard was not hiding in the back amongst the shadows seeing Tool never gets old. They played “Opiate” which I have only seen them play a few times and “Sweat” which I am not sure if I have ever seen them play. This was also a rare night they played “Third Eye.” A brief interlude followed “Forty-Six & 2” that Tool came back from by way of a Danny drum solo that was three minutes of pure fire and speaking of fire, there was a bonfire of trash in the lawn section; a fitting sight since the first time I ever saw a bonfire at a show was the only other time I came to this venue to see Slayer and Marilyn Manson. Stay classy San Bernardino.

Getting out of the venue was a shit show. The people who were parked at the venue could not get out which also meant Uber drivers could not get in to give us a ride back to the Motel 666. After admitting defeat and staring at the stars we sat up to see the original couple from the hotel that was denied check in. We decided walking a mile and splitting a surge priced Uber was a better option than just sitting there so that is exactly what we did.

SETLIST: The Grudge, Parabol, Parabola, Schism, Opiate, AEnema, Descending, Jambi, Third Eye, Forty-Six & 2, The Pot, Vicarious, Sweat, Stinkfist

 

Primus 12/27/12

Primus

3D glasses at a rock show? For my first time to the Balboa Theatre and the first time I had seen Primus since the Family Values Tour in 1999 the answer is yes yes and more yes. This is what they had to say about the tour: “Primus is excited to announce a unique 3D tour this fall, featuring two sets per evening. Being that this is the first-ever traveling 3D enhanced live musical performance, this groundbreaking tour is sure to provide a one-of-a-kind psychedelic experience, further enhanced by the fact that every show will also feature Quad Surround Sound.”

The newest album that they were touring for was Green Naugahyde and the initial limited date run was such a success that they booked more dates that included San Diego. It sounded awesome to me but partially due to being two days after Christmas I could not find anyone to go with so I bought a ticket at the last minute. The only thing left was a discounted ticket in the front row…with obstructed view. It really was not that bad but then about eight people in my row inexplicably left about halfway through so I just slid over and all of a sudden my discounted ticket became a legit front row seat! The stage setup consisted of two giant astronauts on each side of a giant projection screen. A face was projected into the astronaut helmets, which made for an interesting/creepy kind of vibe. I love the intimacy of watching bands in a proper theater but the 3D element made this a very unique experience. At times the band seemed to float through the 3D landscape along with the astronauts. My favorite part was the faithful cover of Black Sabbath’s “Electric Funeral.”

SETLIST: Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers, Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread, Last Salmon Man, Glass Sandwich, Jilly’s on Smack, The Heckler, Moron TV, Jerry Was a Race Car Driver, Over the Electric Grapevine, American Life, HOINFODAMAN, Here Come the Bastards, Electric Funeral, Over the Falls, Lee Van Cleef, Hamburger Train, Del Davis Tree Farm, Harold of the Rocks, Groundhog’s Day, Too Many Puppies

Fuse News: Primus 3D

3dtour

 

The Family Values Tour 10/16/99

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I know there were other bands at this show but the only ones I remember or probably cared about were Staind, Primus, Filter and Limp Bizkit. They all performed great sets but I was especially stoked to see Filter for the third time because they had just released Title of Record a few months prior. It had also been a few years since I had seen Filter, as compared to the other bands that I saw earlier in the year. It was still a nice treat and good bang for the buck. The only person who went with me was Ross and this was one of the first concerts that I didn’t have to drive 3 hours to get to because on October 1st I decided to move to Portland, OR (even after I had promised myself years earlier I would not) with the assistance of my sister and Ross.

Portland was a funny choice for me because I knew people in Seattle and I was already a Washington resident. I didn’t know a soul in Portland, which was part of the appeal, and it was only an hour and a half to Corvallis where Rose was (we were still talking). I also got a callback from John Casablancas. They basically told me that I won a scholarship to attend 10 weeks of modeling classes. Looking back on it now makes me laugh my head off but I figured it was something in a place where I had nothing. I somehow fit all my stuff in a bedroom that I rented out of a house. The owner lived downstairs and rented out the entire upstairs that consisted of 4 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen. The problem was that the actual refrigerator portion of the fridge/freezer combo didn’t work and there was no oven or stove in the kitchen. This lead to me eat many a meal from the nearby Jack In The Box, which to this day I can’t eat very often. Beyond this the guy that I shared a wall with would buy a 5 pound bucket of pork chitterlings and boil them on a hotplate. I had never even heard of pork chitterlings but I now know that they have one of the most awful aromas I have ever smelled.

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Ozzfest 7/18/99

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Main Stage: Black Sabbath, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Slayer, Primus, Godsmack, System of a Down

Second Stage: Fear Factory, Static-X, Slipknot, Puya, Drain STH, hed (pe), Apartment 26, Flashpoint

This was the first Ozzfest that had come in my proximity. Ozzfest had been going since 1996 and kind of filled the summer void that Lollapalooza had left. I was pretty excited about this show because every band on the main stage was a band I wanted to see even though I had already seen some of the bands before. A girl in one of my classes named Tawni turned me onto System of a Down. I was lucky enough to sit next to her in my math class and we had similar musical musings. My cousin Earl really liked them too and gave me their first album on CD for my 21st birthday. They were the first band on the main stage. Claude strikes again though. Bless his soul but the guy’s just not all there sometimes and this time he didn’t quite comprehend the importance of leaving at a specified time. Long story short we arrived just in time to see the last 3 songs of System of a Down’s set. By we I mean Earl and me only because we ran all the way down to the floor from the moment we arrived inside the Pearly Gates. I believe Ross was also with us? The next band up was Godsmack. They were on it. They played pretty much their whole first album. Primus was next and let me just say that Les Claypool is a badass. This is probably about the time in the show we started shifting from the first stage to the second stage all the way up on the hill. We saw Static X up there, who was on tour for their new album Wisconsin Death Trip! We also saw Slipknot. I wasn’t really into them at the time but did find it quite entertaining to see 9 guys dressed up in fucked up masks rocking their ass off and just flat out going crazy onstage. Back to the mainstage is Slayer. I love their fat ass guitar riffs but at the time just could not get with Tom Araya’s voice. Next up was Deftones. This was the third time I was lucky enough to see them and they were nothing short of amazing. Deftones are a hard act to follow but Rob Zombie somehow managed. It had only been three months since the last time I saw him but I think this performance was much better. Maybe it was just because I knew Korn wasn’t following him this time. The closing band was none other than Black Sabbath! I’m not talking about that shit with Dio, I’m talking about the real Black Sabbath with Ozzy. I was as excited about this as any other band of the day. Never in a million years did I think I would ever get the opportunity to see a band that was huge in the early 1970’s. I really got into Black Sabbath when I was about 16. It started with the album Paranoid and then I bought the whole catalog one album at a time. They did not disappoint me. Ozzy was still as crazy as he was made out to be, Tony Iommi was razor sharp on his riffs, and the rhythm section was holding down the groove. Little did I know that this would not be the last time I would see them.