Primus brings Green Naugahyde to Des Moines
by Reggie Edwards
Cowboys and Indians, inflatable astronauts on stage, psychedelic lights and trippy images reminiscent of an acid trip on a giant LCD back-screen. All of these are expected of a Primus show and, let me tell you, the band’s recent stop in Des Moines, Iowa on the Green Naugahyde Tour did not disappoint.
Now, I’m just starting to get into Primus so I don’t know all of the songs and I’m not horribly familiar with the band in general but the Primus’ set is an experience every music lover should have, whether you’re a diehard Primus fan, new fan or not really familiar with them at all.
They played two sets on this particular evening, as they have been all tour.
The band was about 45 minutes late taking the stage, which I’m not too upset over, as no band is ever on time, and it seems like the more famous the band, the later they are. However, I was one of the few in attendance that was cool with this.
The Primus faithful were getting antsy, “Primus sucks!” chants (don’t worry, that’s actually a good chant) were rampant throughout Val Air Ballroom up until the legendary psychedelic rockers graced the stage.
That’s when the party started. Les Claypool’s legendary bass echoed throughout the room as “Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers” came over the speakers.
People were dancing all around the place and just rocking out in pure bliss.
Primus played everything from “My Name is Mud” to “Fisticuffs” to “Bob” to “Sailing the Seas of Cheese,” every Primus fan’s dream come true.
Each song they played had a psychedelic video on the back-screen that coincided with the song. For example, during “Fisticuffs,” the band showed Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots on the back screen. For some reason, the opening song, “Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers” had a video of Youtube sensation, Salad Fingers showing.
What I found really admirable about the night was the fact that Les Claypool stopped the show numerous times to tell people not to mosh as hard and to take into consideration the people around them, notably the individual in a wheelchair that was getting smashed up against the guardrails.
He also told people to not throw stuff on stage as that would make the show less enjoyable for everyone, including the band.
I really liked this, as most bands nowadays won’t do that, they’ll just show up, play and leave.
After about an hour and a half, the three-piece band left the stage for a half hour intermission and came back to perform a set that consisted solely of the entire Green Naughahyde album.
This set was good, but not quite as good as the first. One thing is for sure, though- the band sounded immaculately good. They were on that night.
Claypool’s bass has never sounded as good as it did that night and the entire band was outstanding.