Friday, March 4, 2011

Primus and Melvins, Palais Theatre, 03-03-2011

I never in my life thought I'd get the chance to see Primus, so I was pretty excited when they were announced in the first round of acts for the Soundwave bill. Then this sideshow came along and, being that I am also quite a big Melvins fan, I knew I had to attend.

Melvins played first, starting a bit early at 7:30. Last time they came here, well, it wasn't really a proper Melvins show, more of a convenience show while Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover were here with Fantomas. With Trevor Dunn filling in on bass, they played as a trio at Ding Dong Lounge, doing the entirety of the Houdini album, which was pretty enjoyable. This time around it was the full band, with Big Business members Jared Warren and Coady Willis playing bass and second drum kit respectively. The whole two drum kits thing is always a point-scorer in my books. They played a really good set, but unfortunately they were playing mostly tracks off their newer albums, which I'm not all that familiar with. Nevertheless, Melvins are awesome; I highly recommend seeing them if ever they come back to Australia or you have some other opportunity. This proved quite a challenge to split the recording into the different songs as the moments of silence between tunes were few and far between; after one song finished, they literally went straight into the next one. Combine that with my unfamiliarity with some of the material and it was quite a battle! I've used Chris's SW recording as a guide as the setlist was identical except for the extra two songs and outro cover at the end because of the extra time they had.
(Intro on recording)
The Water Glass
Evil New War God
The Talking Horse
The Bloated Pope
The Kicking Machine
Billy Fish
Electric Flower
Civilized Worm
Blood Witch
The Bit
Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite
(The Spaniels cover; a very humourous end to the show as they sung it entirely a cappella)

From the moment the curtains pulled back on the Palais Theatre stage to reveal two giant inflatable spacemen, with projections displayed on their visors, I knew this was going to be a memorable set. Primus only just started touring again last year after a long time away from the scene, but they appear to have lost none of their magic. It was clear the fans were absolutely loving it, with the familiar joking heckle of "PRIMUS SUCKS!" being heard many times throughout the evening. Les Claypool is an absolute bass guitar wizard. And that whamola jam - WOW. Shame you can't hear the Whamola all that well in this. Sound could be a little better overall really, but it is the Palais, a big echoey old theatre for those that haven't been. And at least both channels came through! I should say the set was quite heavy on the jams too, of course. I'm not sure whether I've got the split right between The Eyes of the Squirrel and a very extended version of Seas of Cheese, as it all tended to blend together sometimes. Then there's Les going off on a tangent during Over the Falls, explaining why he has two microphones before finally handing things over to Larry LaLonde for an extended guitar solo. All in all, it was a pretty special gig.

To Defy the Laws of Tradition
Golden Boy
American Life
The Eyes of the Squirrel
Seas of Cheese
Over the Falls
Drum and Whamola Jam
John the Fisherman
Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread
The Last Salmon Man
Jerry Was a Race Car Driver
Over the Electric Grapevine
Tommy the Cat
Harold of the Rocks

Download MP3 here

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