The Primus concert at the Hollywood Palladium on Dec. 6th was what most of the crowd expected it to be: An energetic musical experience with a variety of very unique and powerful musicians.
“It’s hard to say, but you know L.A. is definitely always one of the craziest places (to play),” said Larry Lelonde, the guitarist for Primus.
Whether it was Lelonde whipping out an electric banjo and jamming, or the bassist and lead singer Les Claypool pulling out a stand up bass and playing it with his head, the concert kept the crowd entertained.
The eclectic rock/funk/jam band known as Primus reunited in 2003 after breaking up for a few years, and they still rock as hard as they used to. It is still unknown how long Primus will stay together this time, but Lelonde said he wants Primus to stay together long-term.
Primus is best known for the “South Park” theme song, their Grammy-nominated video “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,” and hit songs such as “Jerry was a Racecar Driver,” and “My Name is Mud.” Claypool also did the theme song for the Adult Swim show “Robot Chicken,” and their drummer had a stint with the Blue Man Group.
They opened with some well-known songs that would get the crowd going. Even before Primus took the stage, the mosh pits were starting to grow. Pushing and shoving toward the right of the stage turned into a 30-foot mosh pit when Primus started playing their first song.
The hard, stomach-shaking beats of Claypool and his bass threw some crowd members into a good-natured frenzy, where people would knock each other to the ground and then pick them up so they could run around in circles and do it again.
When the crowd started getting too wild, whether it was intentional or not, Primus went in to some of their calmer material, and the crowd calmed down with them. People were walking around in the circles of the mosh pits instead of running and throwing elbows. The crowd swayed for a while, but the calm was only a temporary rest before the storm of Primus’ big songs hit.
“The closest thing we have to hits,” said Lelonde. “It’s usually the stuff we have the videos for.”
When Primus started playing “Jerry was a Racecar Driver” and “My Name is Mud,” the crowd went back to going crazy, and the end of the show packed all of those kinds of “hits” together.
Primus’ opening act was a very entertaining one. In a genre of music they call “gypsy punk,” the band Gogol Bordello plays on buckets, washboards, fiddles, and other stuff while incorporating punk and ska riffs and lyrics in with an old Ukrainian-style folk music.
The majority of the crowd did not really know who Gogol Bordello was at the beginning of the show, but by the end they were cheering for more. When they first stepped out on the stage, the lead singer mentioned something about Primus, and told the crowd that they would be stealing some fans away that night.
They did not quite match the energy and performance of Primus, but they put together a good show. It was a good way to start the night, and Primus was a great way to finish it.