Words by Pietro C. Truba :: Images by Aaron Williams

Primus :: 11.14.06 :: State Theatre :: Detroit, MI

Primus :: 11.11.06
Detroit's State Theatre is a good fit for Primus. With the venue's gothic light fixtures and medieval armor, fans of the wild and weird felt right at home amidst the decor. Speaking of weird, leave it to Les Claypool to enlist a band like Rasputina to open the show.

Featuring two cellos and a thrown-together drum set, Rasputina was a power trio unlike any other. It was interesting enough, but soon the Native American head-dressed female cellist was gone and Rasputina had left the stage. Replacing Rasputina, a gigantic inflatable astronaut rose up and hovered over the stage as the real power trio came out.

Les Claypool :: Primus :: 11.11.06
Primus began their one set with "To Defy The Laws of Tradition" from their album Frizzle Fry. "Defy," a fairly-common opener for this tour, opened the show with a bang and immediately gave the crowd that signature Claypool slap-bass for which they had been itching. The fans directly in front of Claypool were the most animated throughout the night, but a mosh-pit in the center kept people moving. The jam during "Defy" was a clear highlight as Claypool's finger-tapping bass notes lingered with guitarist Larry LaLonde's own finger-tapping riffs. As the crowd chanted the chorus, "Here Come The Bastards" appeared with Claypool and LaLonde further trading licks. Towards the end, Claypool grabbed his microphone stand to use as a slide, grating it up and down the strings of his bass.

"American Life" had Claypool and drummer Tim Alexander locked up perfectly as Claypool's bass line and Alexander's frantic fills meshed into one. "Those Damn Blue-Collard Tweekers" followed, for more from Sailing The Sea of Cheese. "Tweekers" sent the main floor into a shit-fit as the mosh-pit saw sweaty bodies careening like pinballs. Crowd-surfers littered the show, and people kept throwing various things at Claypool, including a few sandals and a shirt. The lights pulsed on the crowd as Claypool played an upright bass with a bow, grinding and slapping it across the strings creating a sound akin to a whale mating while getting in a ten care pile up on the freeway.

Primus :: 11.11.06
Taking one off Pork Soda, Claypool stayed on the upright for "Mr. Krinkle." Stealing the show for a brief minute, Alexander's ensuing drum solo was executed perfectly. Drum solos are often unnecessary, annoying, almost masturbatory, but Alexander's was short, powerful and to the point. As Claypool and LaLonde came back, the drum solo soon gave way to "Eleven."

The crowd filled the open air after "Eleven" with chants of "Primus sucks! Primus sucks!" Claypool responded, "Well... I'm not arguing with that." After a fan asked him to "Play something sweet," Claypool answered by teasing "Mary The Ice Cube," asking LaLonde if he was feeling his "sweetness." After Claypool said, "Fuck that," to "Mary The Ice Cube," they slammed into "Shake Hands With Beef." Claypool seemed to get a bit frustrated during "Shake Hands," walking offstage at one point with his hands in the air. However, "Groundhog's Day" closed out the set with authority. LaLonde's guitar work really took the lead for the first time all night, providing stellar solos with heavy, screeching sounds pouring out of his guitar. The strobe lights beat on the crowd as Claypool slapped out huge bass thumps to finish the show. For a brief three-minute encore, "Jerry Was A Racecar Driver" was highlighted by LaLonde's hectic slide-guitar style that sent his hands up and down the fret board at a frantic pace.

As the lights came over the house it was nice to see Tool fans next to hippies. Some folks screamed in approval as others booed the short set. While Primus did little to push the show over-the-top, with such talented players and enough testosterone-filled energy to flatten a football team it was difficult not to get something from the experience. Yeah, Primus sucks!

JamBase | Detroit
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[Published on: 11/20/06]

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Stevie_t starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/20/2006 06:18PM
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i was there, and yeah, a longer set would have been nice, but primus kills it.

primus sucks! claypool for president!

bigmuffdaddy starstarstar Mon 11/20/2006 07:27PM
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i was in chicago and he played the same songs he played last time he came to the aragon. ive only been disappointed by two concerts ive been to, and those were les claypool's solo tour this past summer, and primus this past friday. claypool can suck a fat one

astroworms Mon 11/20/2006 08:09PM
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Chicago set was way too short for me and larry cant jam.

barrett starstarstar Mon 11/20/2006 08:18PM
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claypool is the man but play longer your thumbs have to be hard by now...
primus sucks , claypool for Prez.

Hug Mon 11/20/2006 10:48PM
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Set in Atlanta was too short as well...I want another hour!

Hotchkiss starstarstarstarstar Tue 11/21/2006 12:53AM
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good review, but terrible to hear there only doing one set.

i spent 48 dollars on tickets to thier los angeles gig only because i was sure they would be doing two sets. needles to say i'll be pissed with any thing less than 1 1/2 hours.

gambit starstarstar Tue 11/21/2006 06:18AM
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Smellie Tue 11/21/2006 07:30AM
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The show in Chicago was short, but the next night in Milwaukee was a little longer, and a better set. Hey, Primus rocked this weekend, for sure. Primus sucks.
Oh, and Mr. Krinkle was quite a jam!

Harmonium starstarstarstar Tue 11/21/2006 07:55AM
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gambit, don't hurt yourself. they're meerly opinions. i like primus.

steve66 Tue 11/21/2006 07:59AM
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damn if your gonna do a review do it right!
there is no such album as "Sailing ON The Sea of Cheese", and what album can i find ""To Defy The FINAL Laws of Tradition" on?? cause i havnt heard of that song.

Get it right man, learn the band, do some research and then write an article...
If this was a phish or trey article everything would have been on point, give the man and the band some respect and get his albums and songs correct.

MangoNutbag Tue 11/21/2006 08:31AM
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Primus has been one of my favorite bands for about 10 years now and I've always had a blast at there shows, but this tour was a little disapointing. it seems as if this tour was forced upon them with the release of the greatest hits record, but they should have put a little more effort into the shows. the nyc show was a disaster and the band seemed as if they just wanted to get the show over with from the first note.

21mmer Tue 11/21/2006 08:37AM
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to say that larry can't jam is, in my opinion, absurd. nobody out there has a sound like his. in fact, all three of those guys can play their asses off. i was at the detroit and chicago shows and, while it was regretable that the shows weren't longer, they were certainly high quality.
my beef is with the fancy band, not primus. i'd love to see a guitar in the lineup. bring enor back!

SlimDizzle starstarstarstar Tue 11/21/2006 08:53AM
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Gammit - you have no clue what you are talking about. the last time Primus played Atlanta in March 03 it was damn near a 2.5 hour show for the same price. They did a big first set, then did a jammed out version of "Sailing" - the whole Album. So while "regular rock shows" may play 45 minute sets, PRIMUS is not known for playing short shows. they did play too short

gambit star Tue 11/21/2006 10:17AM
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so slimmigit I dont know what I'm talking about. huh well for starters they did the "Sailing" - the whole Album as you put it thing at every show that year Atlanta isnt that special.that is not normal for them go back to the pork soda days do you really think they were doing 2.5 hour shows? uhhh no get a clue and eat your wheaties and come on back. NO HARD FEELINGS. OPINIONS ARE LIKE ASSHOLES WE ALL GOT'EM NEXT!!!!!

Hotchkiss Tue 11/21/2006 11:20AM
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aside from vegoose and lollapalooza every primus show i've seen was over two hours.

primus doesn't play a true rock show, nor do the play true rock music.

FormulaOBX Tue 11/21/2006 11:48AM
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Bonnarro set from '04...That lasted um....well...I can't remember...Primus kicks ass.

TimkoNug starstarstarstar Wed 11/22/2006 08:10AM
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A good review thanks! I've been a Primus fan since I wrote a book about them in 5th grade, and I'm now 27. Anyways it is disappointing to hear they they only played one set. Last time I saw them they did two sets and one of the sets was all of Fizzle Fry! I would be pissed if I only caught a one set show?!

Scarlett5446 Thu 11/23/2006 04:14PM
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I agree with MangoNutbag and pretty much everyone else here. I went to the Roseland Ballroom show for this tour and their set was ridiculously short. To top off the already short set, we missed out on at least two songs because the crowd rocked the barricade too hard. I've seen Les play in his other bands (Oysterhead and the new fancy band) but for my first official Primus show, it was disappointing. I understand that they didn't want to go on this tour, but a $50 ticket should be more promising. On the other hand, it's hard to hate such a shitty band :P

Primus still sucks!

ClaypoolFunksMe Thu 11/23/2006 07:46PM
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to answer steve66, "to defy..." is off of frizzle fry, their first studio album.

Anyhow, i went to this show and it was fucking rediculously short. I figured, well...ok les hates detroit. but then i read online that all of their shows have been this short.

This is totally unacceptable for les, as far as i'm concerned. Don't get me wrong...he is the man and as the man he is allowed to make his own decisions of how much of his music he wants to perform at a given show, but i have never payed so much money for so little music. i mean come on, $40+ for 1.3 hours of music? Thats lame as fuck... not to mention that he is trying to rip people off for $30 for a freakin shirt!

Les, if you read this, which you won't, but if you might somehow... i think yer gettin a bit long in the tooth dont you think? a tid bit too big for yer britches. Care about your fans more than the money, please.

Jenny Jen Thu 11/23/2006 08:22PM
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Jenny Jen

Unbelievable! A little over an hour?! Les needs a hug. Won't be at the Memorial in Sac...f' that.

minnross starstarstar Thu 11/23/2006 09:22PM
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[DENVER SHOW] Primus is shit! I set fire to my arm when the one set act ended an hour into the show. I snuck a cat into the show to try and expose Primus to the feline community, it was mot impressed. I felt bad for the poor kitten, because he was a big Claypooler. They play hard and Larry was very nice to hear in a different sort of role (solo's a +). They put on a good $30 show, not $50.

blueberrycaves starstarstarstar Fri 11/24/2006 12:00AM
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Primus played for just under two hours in Minneapolis and I thought that was short. That's too bad they only played about an hour in Chicago and Detroit. I love the "The Fancy Band" and it would be awesome if the Frog Brigade went on tour again.

Oh yea, Primus Sucks

ClaypoolFunksMe Mon 11/27/2006 09:47AM
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well.... apparently one of my buddies who was at the show with me spoke with a member of the state theatre's stage crew, and according to him... les had the flu, and that detroit was kinda like the apex of his sickness. So, take that for what its worth...given that i've never been anywhere near as ripped off by him in the past, i think i'll try to give him the benefit of the doubt, however i still probably won't be paying $40 to see them unless its something special, like them playing all of Pork Soda or Tales...

koss starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/27/2006 12:26PM
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I was at the Chicago show too!!!
Drums & Tuba - great band....go see them.
I see some folks are mad at Les, well for starters....Primus is not a JamBand.
Sorry to break the news, but he does not owe you any length of show. In fact, they sound better without stretching the songs out to pretend to be a JamBand.
I have been seeing Primus shows since 1995 and some are longer than others, but no one on the planet can play Bass like Les Claypool. So, if you need your drawn out two sets at every show...don't come.
It will be your loss.......

My Name Is Mud

blower starstarstar Mon 11/27/2006 03:41PM
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Sorry, but I don't buy into the its not a jam band so its ok to play for 45 minutes. That is pure B.S. if you are a headliner. AC/DC-Pink Floyd-Led Zeppelin-Metallica-Rolling Stones ect... all true rock bands that play or played huge long rock and roll shows that are not jambands. Ween plays 3.0 + hours in one set.

A 45 minute set is not worth a big money ticket. Sorry guys. I do not care how good they are. I saw the Frog Brigade and they played for a couple hours and they kicked ass. I saw Col. Claypool with Bernie and Buckethead on Halloween at the Warfield a couple years ago. They kicked ass also, but they only did a one hour set. It was not enough. I was bummed.

I have tickets for Primus in Berkeley and it is going to rock. They better play for a couple hours or I will be dissappointed.

onelove12 Mon 11/27/2006 10:48PM
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Primus in denver was bomb. Les Claypool for President. I was extremely pleased with the 40$ i payed for a ticket. Primus Sucks, les is god. the only dissapointment was they did not play Southbound Pachyderm but the show was an experience regardless. Primus must live on.

steve66 Thu 11/30/2006 08:31AM
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Im not retarted, i know primus like my hand. To defy the laws of tradition is the name of the song man. Its not to defy the FINAL laws like the article said. Secondly, he messed up sailing the seas of cheese by putting sailin ON the seas of cheese.

All im asking is for the writer, PIETRO, to do some good ol journalism which requires research on the topic at hand. Give the band respect and get the songs and album names right

PoppaBakes Thu 11/30/2006 07:05PM
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impeach larry- he cant play live for shit. and get rid of that sitarist from the fancy band she is horrible too. raspinuta was hella gay.

claypool get your shit together i hate being mad at my main man

Jason Woodside Sun 12/3/2006 07:06PM
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Jason Woodside

poppabakes, you are quite possibly one of the least musically eduacted people who post here,

first of all, larry can play with the best of em.

most importantly, bashing an INCREDIBLY talented musician such as gabby la la is just plain ignorance. not only did she graduate from one of the top music schools int the country, but she is only 2 sitar grads, ever. not only that but she designed her own major because of a lack of the trachers. her playing easily compensates for BOTH of the guitarists in the frog brigade, which i love, and adds an incredible sense of originality to the sound of the band and the overall ambience of their songs. how many other bands have a lineup of vibes, sax, bass, drums, and percussion...none...and vibes isnt my hippie lingo, theyre an instrument, short for vibraphone...not sure if you knew that, since everything else you say about music shows not even the slightest bit on knowledge on the subject.

for lack of time, i left out the other instruments/accolades gabby has credit for, but keep in mind, her biggest influence of you wonder why her music is so wierd/original/experimental, just look at the genius that recruited her and you can see why she belongs

the primus show inatl was badass but entirely too short

my name is mud
primus sucks
claypool for president

Hotchkiss Sun 12/3/2006 11:06PM
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take it easy on the kid he's only 12, and it appears he's already suffered brain damage from smoking to many blunts.

blower starstarstarstar Mon 12/4/2006 09:48AM
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Just came from my first Primus show in Berkley show. Absolutely epic! A little short, but it was smoking. Probably 90 min. One of the best sets of music I have ever heard. Tight as hell. They hit everything perfect.

Larry was an absolute monster. His tone ripped my head off. I have seen nearly every Les band except Oysterhead. Primus was ten times better that any of the previous non-Primus Les show I have seen. Larry was better than Buckethead and certainly Gabby. They are obvously great players, but Primus is what Les is all about. Primus is the real deal. They should write some new tunes and keep rocking.

banjo45 Wed 12/6/2006 10:37AM
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I went to Berkeley show, it was great show. Very tight and well performed, the drum solo kicked ass. But it was short, Gogol Bordello was cool, they had very well executed changes in the songs with good rhythm, but the sound wasn't great for their set. The accordions solos were muffled, and the only words I could make out were fuck and shit (which they didn't say a lot). Great to watch though very theatric with lots of energy. Of course Primus rocked it, and it was a great show. But I have seen Oysterhead and that was the best lineup I ever seen Les with.

Hotchkiss starstarstarstarstar Thu 12/7/2006 02:06AM
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holy crap! primus has become a jamband. i just got back from the los angeles show. this was my 8th primus show, and i started seeing them in 95. i've seen them in numerous phases of the latter part of thier career. but i've never seen them jam like this. sure they've always been known to stretch out a song, but this was straight hippie status.

here's what i recall for the set list.

here come the bastards
american life (took this one into a spacey jam for at least 8 minuets)
frizzle fry>master of puppets*>frizzle fry
southbound Pachyderm (another spacey jam)
sailing the seas of cheese (i don't know if this is the name of the song, it's the little didy at the begining of the album)
mr. krinkle
a song off of tales from the punch bowl with ler on banjo
jerry was a race car driver>my name is mud#>jerry
electric grapvine?

e: wynonas big brown beaver (weak)

*just the first minuet or so, the place went apeshit.
#incomplete version, no guitar solo.

even with the set only being an hour and a half i was satisfied.

siff Sun 12/17/2006 05:12PM
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Were fantastic in milwaukee

siff Sun 12/17/2006 05:13PM
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set was(in no specific order)
frizzle fry
south bound
south park
sgt. baker
is it luck?
and lots more i've forgotten