PRIMUS Show Reviews
PRIMUS/Les Claypool Show Reviews

Show #1

Rockefeller's West, Houston, TX, USA. Nov 22, 1993.

This was my first Primus concert. It was also my first rock concert I ever went to. This was the "Liquid Pig" Tour.

The opening band was really loud. At first I thought this was Primus and I was like "gee they sound and look different live" because I was a dumb 10th grader that didn't know that rock concerts had "opening acts". The drummer had the word "pussy" on his bass drum, so I thought that was the name of the band. I was terribly confused. It was only later I learned it was the Melvins. I remember King Buzzo had a huge fro and I thought this was Les Claypool. I finally came to the realization that it was NOT Primus. They SUCKED. They were loud and sludgey. Well eventually Primus came out.

They played mainly songs from Seas of Cheese and Pork Soda. They rocked! I could feel Les's bass thumping inside of me. It was SO LOUD. I pretty much stayed at the back with my dad who was wearing slacks and a sweater. He looked REALLY out of place. But he likes Primus too. I remember being amazed at the mosh pit. They were all jumping in unison to Primus. It was syncronized! Its just Primus's music is really mosher friendly. I remember they finished their set and everyone was shouting "PRIMUS!!! PRIMUS!!!" they came back on and ended with Mr. Krinkle. This was really cool because Les was playing a bowed upright ELECTRIC bass. I had NEVER seen one of these before. It freaked me out. I had seen the video to Mr. Krinkle on MTV, that is what had turned me onto PRIMUS because I played my bass with a bow in orchestra. It was truly a religious experience to a 10th grade dork.

Show #2

International Ballroom, Houston, TX, USA. October 3, 1997.

The opening bands were Power Man 5000 and Buck O' Nine (a ska band). They played mainly new songs from the Brown Album. Les played most of his songs on his rainbow bass (Carl Thompson six string fretless). Les switched over too a fender four string bass on Tommy The Cat which seemed odd to me because Les usually plays those funky wooden Carl Thompson basses. He stuck The Awakening in the = middle of Tommy The Cat, which was cool. The show seemed really short though.

Show #3

San Francisco CA, USA. December 31, 1998.

I most recently saw Primus at the December 31st 1998 New Year's Eve Freak Out in San Francisco. The opening band was Spearhead, a ska-rap-reggae sorta band. They were pretty cool. Primus played alot of old songs, many from Frizzle Fry. During Tommy the Cat Les dueled with DJ Disk, the turntable player. Les seems to always insert cool stuff in the middle of Tommy the Cat where his bass solo goes. after doing their set, the curtains came down and after some disco music, they came back on with Bob Cock singing 1999 by Prince. It was cool.

Show #4

Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, TX, USA. July 13, 1999.

I am not sure if I will ever go to a festival type thingy again. I got lawn seats and they were WAY far away from the stage. However, me and my friend Robb Zipp snuck down into the seat area. We stayed there the whole 7 hours the show lasted. System of a Down KICKED MUCH ASS. I got to meet Serj, the lead singer of SYSTEM. Unfortunenately I didn't get to meet Les Claypool. After a few more bands played PRIMUS came on. I was so far away though... cuz we stayed kinda far cuz the security was checking the mosh pit alot. I WANTED so bad to be in the pit.

PRIMUS sounded sorta week. I've seen them play alot better. The only song that they played really well was their new one the ANTI-POP. I think PRIMUS must be getting tired of playing all their old stuff. However, they played Harold of The Rocks. I've never seen them play this one live before. They did a real good job on that one.

Les was dressed up in what looked like a military type outfit with a bright blue helmet. Buckethead did a bunch of Guitar wankin' as usual.

Show #5

Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavillion, San Bernardino, CA, USA. July 24, 1999.

This was the last OzzFest 99 show. The only bands I really liked was PRIMUS (of course), SYSTEM OF A DOWN (everyone needs to go out and BUY THEIR CD cuz they rock!!!), BLACK SABBATH. I was pleasantly surprised at what a talented bass player BLACK SABBATH has (Geezer Butler). Well Primus was decent. They did the Anti-Pop song really well. Les was wearin' an army suit and a bright blue helmet. Buckethead did a lot of guitar wankin'. Overall a decent show, seen better. I don't think I'll be going to a festival type show again. I was stuck on the lawn the WHOLE show. PRIMUS was so far away. :( I jumped the fence during My Name Is Mud to try to get down to the seats and possibly the pit, but the security guard got me and threatened to kick me out for good. I said I was sorry and he let me back onto the lawn. Oh well.

Show #6

PRIMUS FREAKOUT 1999-2000 Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium December 31, 1999 - January 1st, 2000 Oakland, California

After a perilous journey from Houston, TX to Los Angeles, California to the Bay Area (with many breakdowns of my piece of crap astro van) me, my friend Zipp, and his friend Tom finally made it.

We stayed with some guys that Zipp knew in Oakland. We toured the Bay Area, saw the cool stuff: Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, San Fran ect. It was really cool. I think the Bay Area is the coolest place I've ever been too.

Well we arived at the show late, missing Buckethead's set, and Incubus. We caught Long Beach Dub All-stars. They were decent. Alot of people were smoking weed and had on weed shirts advertising Humbodlt County Northern California Cannabis. I thought that was weird, seeing marijauna advertised like that. IT IS ILLEGAL!

Then PRIMUS came on. Les was wearing a weird see-thru mask. The first song was Sgt. Baker. It really got the crowd moshing. They played many songs from ANTIPOP Album such as Liquid Sky, Laquerhead, Antipop, and Electric Uncle Sam. They also through in classics such as Jerry Was A Racecar Driver, My Name is Mud, and Harold of the Rocks. Buckethead came out and jammed during some songs. During the show Les talked about how they came from a town known as El Sobrante just a little ways from Oakland. Les seemed disapointed that nothing happened when Y2K hit...

A little before midnight a coffin was lowered from the ceiling and a grim reaper with a huge head came out. It was Bob Cock! He is dead! Well, they showed a video on the big screen behind the band of Bob C. Cock smoking drugs in heaven with Jesus. He said "You know who has the best drugs? GOD has the best drugs!" He also mentioned that he wanted to kill Courtney Love. Bob counted down to the new Millenium and when Y2K hit balloons came down and as the crowd screamed "HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!" Bob said "Happy Hanakuh!"

Overall it was a kick ass show! (I sort of missed DJ Disk and the banjoes this year however...)

Click HERE to see PICTURES that I took at this show!

Show #7

Colonel Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade @ The Contemporary Arts Center February 24th, 2001 New Orleans, Louisiana

I drove from Houston to see Modest Mouse the first night and then Frog Brigade the next... plus a little Mardi Gras action on the side! What A Weekend!!!!

Colonel Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade rocked the house (or should I say Contemporary Arts Center)! The started with "Thela Hun Ginjeet" by King Crimson, and then they did some cover of the Beatles' tunes, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (which was subsituted "Colonel Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade!") and "A Little Help from My Friends". They did the Sausage tunes "Shattering Song" and "Girls For Single Men", the Holy Mackarel tunes "Hendershot" and "Calling Kyle" (on electric upright with the bow!) and the Primus classic "Harold of The Rocks"

At one point Les whipped out this weird one string electric upright bass thingy and beat the shit out of it with a drum stick. It looked custom built and had a hinged pull lever at the top that would stretch the string out and fuck shit up! It was fucking awesome! It jammed hard! [I have most recently learned that this instrument was created by a fan and given to Les. It is called the "Whamola" because it has a huge whammy bar at the top! It is awesome.] Also, I think Les was talking to me... because he was looking right at me and he said "Now Eenor is going to Mess with YOUR mind!" It was so surreal... as if the whole place went away and it was just les talking to me. Well anyway... awesome show!

The last song they played was I think the Pink Floyd song , "Tomorrow Never Knows" or something. They were joined by members of Galactic (the headling act) It was amazing and Les set his bass on delay so that it kept playing a line even when he walked off stage. The band jammed along for awhile until they all walked off stage at different points. Finally it was down to the two drummers: Jay Lane and the drummer of Galactic. They just jammed and traded solos to the delayed bass until the two got off stage and all that was left was the eerie bass delay...which too faded away...

Aww man I was so glad I got to see them...

Show #8

The Les Claypool Frog Brigade @ The Palace Theatre October 15, 2002 Hollywood, California

The show was excellent! This was the first time seeing MIRV. They were really funny. The lead singist, MIRV Haggard, made funny faces which added positively to his stage presence. Two songs that stood out were Million Ton Bomb and the one where he says "Don't make me get out my 50 cal." Les Claypool came out and jammed the whamola stick during this one. He had an alien mask on.

The Frog Brigade started off with Up On The Roof. It got the crowd moving because of its 3/4 time signature. They next played David Makalaster. Other songs I remember them playing are:

-Thela Hun Ginjeet


-Cohibas Esplenditos (Mirv Haggard came out and played the electric bowed saw! That is exactly what it was - a regular hand saw with pickups hooked up to an amplifier. He used a violin bow to bow it and it produced the shrill high pitched electric guitar-esque wailings. It was really cool to see exactly how he did this because I've been listening to the recording of this song on The Holy Mackarel CD for years)

-Highball W/ the Devil (with a super long percussion jam in the middle between Fish Fisher, Mike Dillon, and Tim "Herb" Alexander)

-Buzzards of Green Hill

-D's Diner.

-Long In The Tooth (Les sang into an old fashioned microphone attached to the modern one. His voice sounded different - an interesting effect.

That is all the exact songs I can remember. Also, during one jam an asian girl with a sitar jammed with Mr. Claypool. She kinda sucked, but then got into a little more and sounded pretty good. Then, another guy (i couldn't tell if he was asian, or black, or maybe mixed) jammed on a headless bass with Les.

I later learned that these folks were members of the band Weapon of Choice.

The encore was just weird. The Frog Brigade came back on stage. Another man walked on the stage carrying a Rickenbacher bass guitar. I didn't recognize him, but Les introduced him as Mike Watt. I was like whoa! It's Mike Watt! They then played a cover of Taxman by the Beatles. Mike Watt jammed along but kinda sucked. I think he had just purchased this Rickenbacher because it still had a price tag on it. Rickenbachers are weird basses- and I think Mr. Watt was having trouble with is new bass. Les stopped and said something along the lines that Mike Watt is known for his skills on the old four string. Basically I think Les noticed he was messing up. Mike continued to jam and finally got the hang of his bass - sorta. They kept playing and Les started into Wynonna's Big Brown Beaver. He sang one verse and then went back into Taxman.

It was all very strange indeed, but I've come to expect as much from Les Claypool's Frog Brigade

Click HERE to see PICTURES that I took at this show!

Show #9

Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains @ The State Palace Theatre May, 3, 2003 New Orleans, Louisiana

The opening band was Ween. It was very odd because Ween played longer than CCBBB! They were pretty good though. Two songs that stuck out were Piss Up A Rope and Bananas & Blow. Many of Ween's songs were very trippy yet rocking. One of them was this crazy almost middle eastern sounding wailing that went on for awhile then launched into ROCK!

CCBBB came out around midnight. First Bernie Worrell came out. He played a lengthy organ solo that was very loud, and distorted. It was pretty cool. It fried my mind!

The rest of the band joined him. The whole concert was basically a huge improvised jam session. More emphasis on jamming than singing. I think Les only used the microphone a couple times to introduce folks. It was a Claypool fan's dream come true!

Les Claypool was wearing a crazy hat with two spiral horns potruding out the back, and a mask with a long pinnochio style nose. He looked strange as usual. He was also wearing an 18th century style suit. He really brought out the basses to my delight! He used his four string fretted Carl Thompson, his SIX STRING FRETLESS Carl Thompson (The "Rainbow" Bass), his electric upright, and the whamola stick! They were all DELICIOUS TREATS!

Claypool's basslines were off the wall as usual. He had one where he'd slap the low notes in a fast rhythm then hit some sort of distortion pedal which totally made his bass go "WEEEEEEERRRRRR!!!" so his line went like this "Thump thump tha thump thump WEEEEERRRR thump thump tha thump thump WEEEEEEERRR!!!" Its really hard to describe but reminded me of a hip hop line.

The whole show was almost as trippy as some sort of electronic dance music. Buckethead's dead on precision made it feel almost electronic- like video game music.

Buckethead was wearing his usual garb - a KFC bucket on his head with a banner that read FUNERAL. He was also wearing his Michael Myers mask. He did a rendition of the theme to Halloween. He played both parts on his guitar at the same time! During the show he shred like a maniac. His shredding brought images of a checkerboard flickering black and white black and white in my mind. Each flicker matched a finger making contact with the fretboard. It was lightning fast!

Buckethead threw in his stage antics by dancing like an animatronic robot, doing a nun-chuck routine, and playing with all sorts of toys that he had in his bag. He gave Bernie Worrell a toy chainsaw which Bernie proceeded to use to grind on his keyboard to create heavy distorted electronic noise.

Brain did a drum solo. While he solo'ed, Les, Buckethead, and Bernie left the stage. Suddenly I looked over to my right. They were going up the stairs to the balcony! I was standing right by them! There was one security guard protecting them. They went up to the balcony. A spotlight shined on them. Les was wearing his Mr. Krinkle pig mask. He and Buckethead watched Brain do his solo. They then went back on stage and jammed... and jammed... and jammed some more!

Overall an amazing show! Probably the best Claypool show I've ever seen! Check out PICTURES that I took at this show!

Show #10

Primus @ Verizon Wireless Theatre February, 27 2004 Houston, TX

This show was a part of the Tour de Fromage 2004. Primus has reunited with the original lineup for an all out musical onslaught! Heh that sounds like the typical opening for a reunion tour. Well anyway, they played TWO sets! The first set was a mixture of stuff from their new CD/DVD Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People and alot of stuff from Frizzle Fry and Pork Soda. Highlights from the first set included:

Harold of the Rocks

Mr. Knowitall



Ol' Diamond Backed Sturgeon

Toys Go winding down


The second set was the entire album Sailing the Seas of Cheese played from start to finish. It was deffinately a treat for any Primus nerd! They extended the jams on most of the songs. He busted out the whamola stick at one point in time. Les messed up during the opening solo to Fish On. He hit a wrong note and screamed "FUCK!!!" It was quite amusing. Les played drums during Los Bastardos. The rest of the band wore monster masks.

Their was an encore of Pudding Time.

The highlight of the evening for me was, of course, finally getting to meet Mr. Claypool himself!

At the end of it all (and it was a pretty crazy night for more reasons than one), I ended up getting to meet him. I hung around back near the tour buses after the show. He was there signing autographs. I approached him and he said, "Hey nice shirt" in that twangy semi-southern accent. He signed my Frog Brigade shirt that I was wearing with a sharpie! I then asked if I could take a photograph of with him. He said "sure!" I snapped a shot with my digital camera of him.

Go HERE to see that pic and others from the show.

Afterwards I reached to shake his hand and and tell him "awesome show". He made a fist and said, "potatoes, potatoes" and we did some strange handshake by bumping fists.

Overall an amazing and quite surreal experience!

Show #11

Les Claypool his Fancy Band @ Wakarusa Camping & Music Festival June 10, 2006 Clinton State Park near Lawrence, Kansas

Set List

Up On The Roof.....super high energy version!!!

David Makalaster

One Better


Big Eyeball In The Sky w/ Bernie Worrell & Buckethead

Iowan Gal - 2nd time ever live performance. Supposedly Les messed up on this one in Boulder, CO. He nailed it at this show! It is performed on the bass banjo.

Whales & Woe

Lust Stings

D's Diner

I just saw Mr. Claypool perform with his fancy band last night here at Wakarusa '06! I'm at one of these free Internet trailer thingies!

Buckethead played before him and Les came out during his set. He jammed the whamola stick. The sound wasn't so good on it. I think it wasn't set up correctly...

But anyway on to Claypool...

'Twas an awesome set indeed. They began with Up On The Roof. This jam started it all out just right.

I was in an altered state during the remainder of the show, so I'll just post reviews of songs I can remember. Throughout the whole night members of the band solo'ed. Gabby did a sweet theremin solo! It fried my cranium! She also played the sitar mighty fine! Skerik was awesome on the sax. He is definitely a Man of Extreme Power. Buckethead and Bernie Worrell came out on stage for a little bit as well.

David Makalaster was awesome. Les did a Southbound Pachyderm teaser in the middle. Everyone around me in the crowd was amazed by my knowledge of Claypool songs. I shared that knowledge with all!

Les also played his bass banjo on the new song off of Whales and Woe (the name escapes me). This was the first time I've seen him perform live on his bass banjo. It had a twangy bassy sound to it. Les mentioned he'd only played this song live once before (cuz its brand new) and screwed it up. This time he had to stop after begining because the crowd's clapping was messing him up. When he played the song again, it sounded great! Good job Les!

Well that's all I can remember now! I'm gearin' up to see Yonder Mountain String Band and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones tonight! Huzzah!

Show #12

Les Claypool @ Warehouse Live March 28, 2008 Houston, TX

-Rumble of the diesel


-Shine on you crazy diamond




-One step beyond

-Drumz and whamola

-Of whales and woe

-One better-Hello Skinny (damn near a full version)

-Electric funeral (w/ some tease that I can't seem to remember)

-American life-Tommy the cat (banjo)

-Iowan gal (banjo)


I've been super busy lately! Friday night was YOU IN CONCERT! Solomon and I went to see Les Claypool at Warehouse Live here in Houston. It was an awesome show! You (Les Claypool) talked a lot at this show. It was kind of funny. A lady in the audience brought an old yearbook from a junior high school. She used to live in CA and went to school with you (Les Claypool). You talked all about it at your concert about how you were put into a new Kindergarten class and had no friends and this lady let you sit next to her.

Also you talked about going to Dallas the previous evening because of your show. It was funny because everyone started booing Dallas! You went on by saying that Houstonians and Dallasites (sp?) need to sit down together and share some love or something like that. That REALLY made the crowd start to boo Dallas! Anyway... AWESOME SHOW! Your band jammed on! I also met a dude from the Primus website's BullBoard. He had posted earlier about him being out of town from California and he was interested in meeting folks at the show that post on the Primus BullBoard. I said I'd like to meet up. I didn't think it would actually happen since their is so many people at the show. But, we DID! He was a cool dude. Solomon and I got separated and he saw me across the room and yelled RUSSELL! The guy from the Bull Board heard him say my name and he knew my name from speaking with me on line, so he says, "Russell?!?" I was like who is this stranger?!? I figured it out it was YRtist from the Bull Board. We hung out. He said he is going to Peru to climb Macchu Picchu! That's awesome. I think deep down inside all Jam Band Hippies want to go to Peru to climb Macchu Picchu. It must be the oneness with nature perhaps?!? Anyway it was cool meeting someone from the Bull Board. I've posted on that thing for around ten years! There was an aftershow with the ROZZANO ZAMORANO TRIO. Rozzano Zamorano is a soloist bass player from Houston. I could really tell the Claypool influence in his slapping. It was awesome to see him in a small venue on the side of Warehouse Live.

Show #13

Les Claypool @ Bonnaroo 2008 June 13, 2008 Manchester, TN

Due to the extremely large amount of acts going on simultaneously, I was very late to Claypool. Also due to the fact that I'd already seen Claypool in concert twelve other times, I thought I'd check out my other bass idol, Edgar Meyer. Unfortunately Edgar Meyer was playing with the Bluegrass Allstars at the SAME TIME as Claypool! ARGH!!! Damn Bonnaroo scheduling! You don't put two of the best bass players at the SAME TIME! Anyway, I was late and only caught a couple songs. There was a cello player jamming with Les! It was REALLY loud. My friend Solomon went to see The Swell Season (the musicians featured in the film Once). They were playing one tent over and stopped mid-set and said were amazed at the volume that was being pumped out from Claypool's tent. I also got to meet Les Claypool at a Q & A session in regards to his film Electric Apricot: The Quest for Festeroo. He signed my Electric Apricot poster (which unfortunately I lost later that night in the pit for METALLICA!) During the signing, I asked him if he really had a recipe for Cosmic Flan. He simply replied, "FLAN!" in that silly Les voice and walked away. It was utter awesomeness. Anyway, here's the setlist (copied from an outside site): Set 1: Rumble of the Diesel, Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread, David Makalaster I > Southbound Pachyderm (tease) > David Makalaster I, Long in the Tooth, Hendershot, Precipitation > .50 Cal tease > Precipitation, Drums, Drums and Whamola Jam Of Whales and Woe, Electric Funeral, One Better > Glide (tease) > One Better, D's Diner

Show #14

Les Claypool w/ Matisyahu, Dub Trio @ The House of Blues June 8, 2009 Houston, TX


Thela Ginjeet

Rumble in the Diesel


David Makalaster w/ Southbound Pachyderm

David Makalaster II

Red State Girl


Percussion/Whamola Jam

Booneville Stomp


D's Diner w/ jazzy jam in middle...

Les also came out during Matisyahu's set with the whamola. Matisyahu made a beat box and Les jammed along on the Whamola. It was quite nice.

My friend Sean accompanied me. He was not a HUGE Les fan, but he really enjoyed the show. I think afterwards he might be a fan now! He said it was highly entertaining. Matisyahu was "meh" to him. I thought Matis was "a'ight".

Sam Bass accompanied Claypool on Cello! He played the guitar parts to old Primus/Frog stuff. He's also featured on the new album Of Fungi and Foe. There was also a vibraphone/tabla player and a drummer. Les wore various masks including the pinnochio style mask as well as a monkey mask and a pig mask. The other members of the band wore Republican masks. Les really brought out the basses. He played his Carl Thompson electrics, his electric upright (bowed and pizzicato), the Whamola, and his new one for Booneville Stomp (it's an acoustic/electric bass guitar with a Dobro-style resonator on it- it sounded like giant cables being tormented by some mad scientist!)

This was a part of my Bachelor Party! I'm going to be wed in Vegas this Friday! HUZZAH!!!

Thank you, Mr. Claypool for melting my face off with your bass abilities! I can now wed.

Show #15

Les Claypool w/ Beats Antique @ The House of Blues April 20, 2010 Houston, TX

Thela Hun Ginjeet Rumble in the Diesel Boonville Stomp Long in the Tooth Red State Girl Precipitation Percussion Jam Whamola Jam Buzzards of Green Hill David Makalaster (extended jam) w/ Southbound Pachyderm Lust Stings D's Diner w/ My Name is Mud tease & a "jazzy" jam ENCORE Rush's Spirit of the Radio HUZZAH!!!!!!!!!!!! Just seeming him play Rush was worth the 30 bucks!