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Live Reviews : Primus & The Dean Ween Group @ Enmore Theatre 06/04/2018

By on April 7, 2018

Primus has long been a personal favourite of mine. Ever since picking up a copy of 1999’s ‘Antipop’ in my early teenage years at a tiny record store in Coffs Harbour, I’ve been hooked to the zany tunes of Les Claypool and Co. Over the years, I’ve managed to catch a couple of live sets of theirs here at there at different festivals, but I never felt like they truly shined in this environment. Having a limited set time and daytime setting just didn’t do this band justice. I knew I needed to see them in a theatre setting, with their full production and limitless set time. And after finally achieving this last night, all I can say is….wow!

Arriving at the perfectly chosen venue of the Enmore Theatre, I was greeted by the jams of the opening act, The Dean Ween Group, featuring Dean Ween, who is one half of popular rockers, Ween. Not knowing any of their stuff didn’t stop me enjoying these guys by any stretch. They put on an amazing performance, with lots of extended jams, which they executed flawlessly. My favourite part of their set was when a parenting couple sat in the seats in front of me, with their three kids, all easily under four years old, and the kids started getting into the set immediately. Why not impress all generations, I say! Looking like they just grabbed whatever t-shirts they could find in their luggage, the Dean Ween Group were a lot of fun to watch, and you could tell they were enjoying every moment up on that stage, especially enigmatic band leader, Dean Ween, who is one hell of an amazing guitarist.

The first thing that hit me about Primus’ stage setting was how perfect it set the mood for the evening of wacky music that was to follow. With barely any front of house lighting, they relied on five vertically placed projector screens and a huge array of floodlights at the back of the stage project their immense production. Opening with a crowd favourite, ‘Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers’, it was immediate just how integral this production would take their live show to a whole new level. The screens projected a huge array of crazy imagery throughout their set, including components of their album artworks, snippets of their film clips, and even a portion of ‘Salad Fingers’ videos.

The band were in fine form this evening. Les Claypool only needed to address the crowd a few short times throughout their entirety of the set, as he obviously prefers the music to do the talking. And that it did! Playing a mix of material, with a couple of tracks from their latest album, ‘The Desaturating Seven’, and plenty from the iconic albums, especially quite a few cuts from ‘Sailing the Seas of Cheese’, Primus smashed their way throughout the set, extending jams into almost every track. The mash-ups of many of their songs went over really well with the crowd, as it made for a totally unpredictable set, something I truly appreciate the band. There’s nothing worse than a band who plays the same setlist for an entire tour, and the unpredictability of a Primus setlist is worth the entry fee alone!

The highlight of the set for me was easily the mid-break through ‘Jerry Was A Racecar Driver’, where Les kicked into the chilling bass line for ‘My Name is Mud’ and seeing them bust into that, leaving nobody in the crowd standing still. Watching the crowd for some of this track made me realise just how timeless Primus is. There was a huge mix of ages, from teenagers all the way through to retirees, and they were all enjoying it just the same.

After this fantastic evening, there is one thing I can leave you with. Primus definitely don’t suck! Do not miss this tour!

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