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…