Primus In Vintage Form As Tour Closes

Primus In Vintage Form As Tour Closes

By Mike Duffy, October 25, 2011

Even though they’ve got a slew of 13 new songs on their latest album, Green Naugahyde, Primus seems to be in vintage form.

The proggy, heavy-metal funk-rock band showed as much last weekend in a North American tour-closing performance at the Wiltern in Los Angeles.

With dark and stormy lights engulfing a stage hosting two massive blow-up astronauts and a movie screen showing classic military propaganda footage, Primus romped through two sets of black carnival fun spanning the band’s lengthy career.

And after playing Green Naughahyde in its entirety for the second set, which the group had done throughout their tour, it was obvious that the Primus of 2011 is still comfortable with its Cirque du Demento stylings.

Guitarist Larry “Ler” LaLonde said the chance to play Primus’ first fresh material since 1999’s Antipop was exciting.

“It’s been really fun,” LaLonde told Fender.com.  “The last two tours we did before this album, all we had were older songs.  Now, we’re pushing it the whole other way with the second set.” 

“The reaction has been good, I think.  I mean, the crowd seems to be sticking around, so that’s a good thing.” 

Enjoy fan footage from the Wiltern. Fast forward to 5:50 to watch LaLonde’s “fine, fancy and fast” work.”

LaLonde got things started with the wah-wah of “Those Damn Blue Collar Tweekers,” sending the crowd into a noodling frenzy.

And with bass abuser Les Claypool brrrapping along with his wide array of weapons, from stand-up bass to several shoulder-strapped models, Primus kept the energy up early with classics like “Pudding Time” and “Dutchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread.”

Claypool addressed the Koreatown crowd after the fifth song, “Over the Falls,” thanking the audience for being a “lively bunch” and introducing a brief LaLonde shred-session by saying, “Larry likes to communicate via his six-string piece of furniture known as Fender Thinline Telecaster.”

A new — sort of — member of the band is drummer Jay Lane, who Claypool has stated brings a funkier quality to the rhythm section.

Lane was actually in the original iteration of Primus when Claypool formed the band with guitarist Todd Huth, and his inclusion in the current version could be a reason why the Green Naugahyde release is reminiscent of 1990’s Fizzle Fry.

“It’s been really great having him bring another voice to the room,” said LaLonde.  “Because he was with the band before the first record, some of that influence was thrown back in there.” 

Primus took a break 10 tunes in, showing four “Popeye” cartoons at the intermission, before starting their Naugahyde portion of the show.  It closed with a classic two-song encore of “Southbound Pachyderm” and “Tommy the Cat.”

As three generations of fans filed out the door, just like they probably had across the nation and world on their 2011 journey, Primus demonstrated that their twisted carnival of LaLonde’s commanding guitar screeches and Claypool’s virtuoso bass slapping is as robust as ever.

The band still has a few more shows left before their year is over, but it’s not looking like Primus is going anywhere anytime soon.

Primus at the Wiltern, Los Angeles, Cali.

Set 1

  1. Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers
  2. Pudding Time
  3. Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread
  4. The Pressman
  5. Over The Falls
  6. Drum and Whamola Jam
  7. Eleven
  8. Mrs. Blaileen
  9. Jerry Was A Race Car Driver
  10. Over the Electric Grapevine

Set 2: Green Naugahyde

  1. Prelude to a Crawl
  2. Hennepin Crawler
  3. Last Salmon Man
  4. Eternal Consumption Engine
  5. Tragedy’s a’ Comin’
  6. Eyes of the Squirrel
  7. Jilly’s on Smack
  8. Lee Van Cleef
  9. Moron TV
  10. Green Ranger
  12. Extinction Burst
  13. Salmon Men


  1. Southbound Pachyderm
  2. Tommy the Cat

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