While this was not my first Primus show, it was my first time at the new Filmore Silver Spring, so you’ll forgive me if this is as much as review of the location as it is of the performance. Or you won’t, in which case you can suck it. Or not. See, i’m really easy that way.
For those unfamiliar with the works of Mr. Claypool and company, the boys specialize in Dagobah space swamp funk, a genre i’m pretty sure they invented and perfected all on their own. Promoting Green Naugahyde, their first album of new tunes since 1999’s Antipop, they didn’t sound like they’d missed a step in the interim. The groove is still menacing, the crowd still likes to chant that they suck, and Les still sports a derby with the best of them. The stage was an appropriate mixture of the bizarre, including two giant astronauts on stage and a video screen showing the oddest assortment of videos i’ve seen since i caught Tobacco way back when (and Tobacco shows ET porn at his shows).
Now let’s get into the new Filmore, shall we? If you’ve been to the 9:30 Club, you’ll instantly recognize the layout, from the configuration of the stage and side bars to the basement bar. Seriously, whoever designed the 9:30 should consider suing over the clear copycat attempt. Admittedly, it’s bigger and newer, but the lack of creativity would be startling if one didn’t realize the joint was run by Live Nation/Ticket Bastard. One does not expect creativity from those outlets, of course. The A/V equipment is sweet, but i’d expect nothing else from a brand new system. Of course, where the videos were crisp, clean and projected on giant screens, the mics left something to be desired. i couldn’t understand hardly any of Les’ audience chatter.
Of course, the Needsmore missed one of my favorite 9:30 moves, namely, posting start times ahead of time. Having a guy answer the phone who “thinks the show starts around 8” really doesn’t cut it, guys. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.
On an up note, if you are the type that enjoys engaging in more herbal intoxicants, they apparently don’t give a shit at the Needsmore. Not only was the upstairs a cloud of reefer smoke, but there even was a hep cat out front more than happy to share his sparked goodies with any stranger in need. Or so i hear.
Bottom line: Primus remains near its prime. The Filmore is a weak copycat, but good enough to deserve a return visit should the act warrant. Of course, the types of bands they book are about Warrant level, so you’ll have to make that call on your own.