I won't go so far as to say that you missed one hell of a show because I just don't see it that way. It was however a great performance and were it not for the mediocre acoustics of the auditorium, and the rather routine sound that issued fourth from the band, the set would have been splendid.
Primus opened with an enthusiastic rendition of "John The Fisherman", which was to set the tone for the evening. Most of the selections that night were pre-"Pork Soda." But they seemed to lack the energy that gives Primus it's legendary status and ability to go Platinum without any radio play what-so-ever.
The boys seemed to be having fun though. Les's wife and child were there and he proudly pointed them out to the audience, announcing as he did so that this was the baby's first concert. Bob Cock made his annual appearance, belting out a charismatic cover of Led Zeppelin's "Rock And Roll."
The debut of newly recruited drummer, Brian "Brain" Mantia, was a very sad time indeed for me. He is, needless to say, a highly talented individual. But primus didn't get where they are through the use of talent alone. I think that much of their notoriety came from the unmistakably solid and confident sound that came from Les's wacky proficiency and Tim's versatile magic. Mantia can certainly keep a beat, but he doesn't even come close to filling Herb's accurate shoes.
In my humble opinion, the best part of the evening would have to have been the crowd, which was far more familiar with primus and their music than the MTV mob that was present for last year's Freak Out. The two thousand or so people in attendance, (I'm blind, so that's as good as my numerical capabilities get), would cheer with recognition at the beginning of each song and many would sing along as well.
Over all, it was a fair enough concert, but not one that I'll fondly tell my children about when I'm old and grey. I suppose that much of my disappointment stems from the fact that this was my first Primus show, and I was expecting something more. But with luck, the statement that "It's never as good as the first time," will prove false in the not too distant future.
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