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Concert Review: Primus at ACL Live - Sunday, Nov 16, 2014

by Jeff Barringer - Staff Photographer

Primus returned to Austin last night, for the umpteenth time, to perform a unique two set show to a sold out crowd of fans at ACL Live. Austin has long been a favorite tour stop for the band and it's frontman Les Claypool on his many weird and wonderful side projects.

With a bare stage Primus first set was a solid covering of some, but not all, of the bands hits and crowd favorites. Starting with "Too Many Puppies" the band skipped around their career arc hitting "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver", "My Name Is Mud", and others before wrapping the first set with "Jerry Was A Racecar Driver".

After a brief break to build the set and don masks and costumes, the band returned to perform a multimedia performance of their vision of Willie Wonka/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's soundtrack. I always found the original film with Gene Wilder more than a bit dark and disturbed but in Les Claypool and Primus hands the music and film takes on a whole new level of twisted, weird, and creepy, like clown paintings by a mass murderer.

With oompa loompas appearing infrequently amongst giant candies and huge inflatable mushrooms Primus with The Fungi Ensemble, led by Claypool wearing a red wig, top hat, and mask proceeded to soundtrack the film, as snippets culled from the movie played on a giant screen behind the band. Favorite songs from the movie such as "Candyman", "Pure Imagination", and "Golden Ticket" were recognizable but just barely as Claypool and his consorts twisted their harmonies into a spooky disquieting melange.

I'm going to start having the oompa loompa nightmares again.

Primus current tour wraps in Escondido, CA this Saturday but the band has a few "one off" gigs in December and January. For a list of tour dates check their site at http://primusville.com/tour/.

Click here for more photos of Primus.







by Jeff Barringer - Staff Photographer

Slayer's Kerry King has an infamous tattoo on his left bicep that he like to point out from time to time that says "GOD HATES US ALL" and I couldn't help but feel that sentiment as I rose from a bed that had spent most of the night spinning. I rarely drink anymore, and then usually only with Kerry so the skill set I acquired at college(s) had long ago run their course.

As the hot water spraying on my forehead rolled down my neck and back, any soothing feelings I hoped for were blocked by the steady constant THROB THROB THROB at my temple and the naked glare of the incandescent bulbs above the sink. Though I was looking forward to the show, I knew it would be a long row to hoe to actually gear up, drive down, park and then hike the half mile across the river that is Austin's Town Lake down to Auditorium shores, with about 50 pounds of gear. THROB THROB THROB.

Throwing my gear in the car I headed off into Austin, arriving at parking garage an hour later, at about 5:00pm. Popping into Thundercloud for some needed rations, a large chicken salad sub on wheat, provolone, and black olives, I washed it down with the largest Mountain Dew they had, along with 800mg of Ibuprofin. By the time I had passed the Occupy Austin camp and crossed the bridge the combination of calories, caffeine, pain killer, and blood flow had made my head clear just in time for - the dust.


Continue reading "Slayer thrashes Austin's Auditorium Shores"

by Jeff Barringer - Staff Photographer
"No, I'm pretty sure I'd know if I'd seen someone like that..."

The diminutive hostess at the Driskill's downstairs bar looked me up and down and her eyes told me I was way way under dressed to be hanging out at the Driskill.

Camo shorts, Motorhead T-Shirt, and Black Converses were definitely not on the acceptable list at the ritzy 19th Century downtown Austin hotel that charges $300 a night and hosts Austin's largest ghost population. But I had no choice - the text said to meet at the Driskill, in the bar and so I pulled up a stool, ordered a Tanqueray & tonic, no fruit, and waited. After a second round, close to an hour later, I noticed that I was the last one there and they were closing up. The upstairs bar was still open, so I wandered up.

The place was packed end to end with UT fans and wedding parties, the noise like a flock of geese at feeding time. Retreating down the stairs I grabbed a chair in the lobby, and started checking my phone messages. After a half our of this I began to compose an apology message, prepping myself to bail. It was a beautiful message, filled with flowery halve truths about being up early to milk cows and the like. Before I could hit the send button, under the phone I noticed a black pair of combat boots standing three feet right in front of me. I knew before glancing up it was - Slayer!


Slayer's Kerry King enjoys a J├Ągermeister on Austin's 6th Street.

Continue reading "Hanging out with Slayer on Austin's 6th Street"


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