This Saturday night, The Joint at the Hard Rock hosted a special midnight show, Primus. A generous friend of ours had one extra ticket to the show, but for the rest of us the envy started to sink in. Since most of us had never seen Primus, we decided to take a trip to the venue and buy any tickets available. It was a good thing we did, because when all eight of us arrived at 11:30, the show was sold out.
Primus came out to an elaborately decorated stage, on either side of the drums there were two giant spacemen with constant flashing images projected on their helmets. Les Claypool was wearing a suit, tall Lincoln style top hat, and bold round glasses, making himself look like an eight-foot tall ringleader. I knew immediately we were in for a one of a kind performance. Sure enough, after opening with Pudding Time, Primus did an incredible cover of Pink Floyd’s In The Flesh from The Wall. Primus already had the audience in a frenzy, cheering, dancing, and rocking out.
It was great to see Primus perform as a three piece, with Les Claypool, Larry Lalonde (guitar) and Jay Lane (drums). Even when Les would trail off into an experimental bass solo, the guitar and drums were equally as loud and creative; their music flowed together instinctively. The immense rhythms moved through your body and rattled your bones. Primus seemed to just go with the flow, playing random tracks, doing stylish covers, just jammed out playing; Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread, Behind My Camel (The Police cover), Groundhog's Day, Those Damned Blue Collar, Mr. Knowitall, Big in Japan (Tom Waits cover), and Over The Falls.
Not only did Les make his mad bass playing skills look easy, the sounds he was able to create were like nothing I had ever heard. The audience just stared in amazement when he came onstage with a monkey mask and played these deep, dark, grinding tones with his Whamola (single string stand-up bass). Just watching Les Claypool alone was an incredible show of unique instruments and sounds. Primus banged out the rest of their set with Eleven, Frizzle Fry, My Name Is Mud, Southbound Pachyderm, and an extended version of Tommy The Cat.
Fans chanted “Primus sucks! Primus sucks!” until they returned to the stage for an encore. Primus gave all they had left with Over the Electric Grapevine and Too Many Puppies. The whole crowd took this last oppotunity to dance, get crazy in the pit, and even crowd surf. Primus had managed to take all 4,000 fans on an incredible two hour journey through their music, visuals, and truly unique experience.
Primus was an incredible show and even many veteran fans were gushing about it is one of the best shows they have ever seen. The Hard Rock exploded with thousands of people at 3 a.m., some waited in the garage for an hour to leave, others stayed and partied till dawn. The upside to sticking around after a concert in Las Vegas, a couple hours later a few of our friends got the chance to have a drink with Les Claypool himself. Thank you Primus, it really doesn’t get any better than that!
Be sure to check out a behind the scenes look at Primus in Las Vegas.