Les Claypool

LIVE: Primus @ The Fillmore Silver Spring - 10/15/12

All photos by Joy Asico (joy@chunkyglasses.com / www.asicophotos.com )

Attempting to describe Primus’ show at the Fillmore Silver Spring is like trying to describe an elephant (or southbound pachyderm, if you will) to a blind man.  Instead, we’ll attempt to break down a very complex, hugely entertaining show into ten string cheese-sized pieces.

1) The show was in 3-D. As fans filed into the auditorium they were given standard issue 3-D glasses. While the 3-D imagery wasn’t as well-defined as, say, Avatar, it was incredible to see faucets flying through the  air as the band opened with “Those Damned Blue Collar Tweakers,” or cheese hovering in front of your face during “Jerry Was a Racecar Driver.” Throughout the evening dots or lines of light would dance and swirl in front of the 2-D imagery projected on the screen, most effectively in “Moron TV” as multicolored shimmering lines jumped off of footage of old Clutch Cargo films, and during the first encore, “HOINFODAMAN,” when a five sided 3-D tunnel managed to give the illusion that you were really travelling into it.

It’s the rare band that could make this gimmick work; they have to be skilled and entertaining enough that the 3-D is an added bonus, not the whole show, and Primus has enough talent for four bands. Les Claypool is arguably one of the greatest bassists of all time, and his almost inhuman skill with his instrument made him just as entertaining to watch as the bubbles flying by your face or the 3-D close-ups of insects. The effects simply augmented what would have been a spectacular show without them.

2) The show was in 4.0 Surround Sound. Speakers were placed strategically in a square around the concert hall, so the sound came from all directions, not just in front of you. While it was amazing to listen to, it only worked if you were inside the “square” created by the four sets of speakers. The difference was noticeable, and the effect was fantastic. However, there was the…

TO DO LIST: Primus TONIGHT @ The Fillmore Silver Spring!!!

A smart writer once said that talking about Primus is like trying to stuff a baboon into a paper bag; you don’t know where to begin. For the purposes of this preview, let's just say Primus is one of the most creative and unique bands of the last 30 years, an insane mixture of funk, punk, and experimental music centered around Les Claypool's fantastically innovative bass riffs.

Thus, it makes sense that such a unique band would put on a unique show, and on paper they don't get more innovative than this: at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Monday night, Primus will put on what is likely the first 3-D rock concert. Concertgoers will be presented with 3-D glasses as they enter the hall, which are utilized as the band jams along to images projected on a screen behind them. The images pop off the screen and float above the audience creating what the band calls a "fully immersive psychedelic experience." The concert will also be presented in quadraphonic Surround Sound - at least one speaker is placed in each corner of the concert hall so the music comes from all directions, much like the 3-D imagery. At various times, the band will turn around and "jam" to the images their "visualist" projects on the screen.

All of which would simply be smoke and mirrors if the music was no fun, but this is Primus. The evening's two sets will be culled from last year's Green Naugahyde (which features the amazing Meters-on-acid jam “Lee Van Cleef”) as well as 90s classics such as "My Name Is Mud" and "Jerry Was A Racecar Driver," to mention the improv and random covers the band does so well. This could be the future of concert going, and you can say you saw it first.

Tickets are still available HERE. We'll see you out sailing the sea's of cheese tonight at The Fillmore.