Goblin rock takes over Tennessee Theatre

By Marie Kolzow, Jam Band Director

Experimental rock group Primus packed the Tennessee Theatre with their sold out show as a part of their “Ambushing the Storm” tour on Nov. 7.

The three piece rock group featuring bass player Les Claypool, Larry “Ler” LoMonde, and Tim Alexander has been around since the early 90’s. Despite their prevalence in the mainstream, Primus continues to perplex audiences with their wild performance and mind-blowing visuals.

Primus opened their sold out show with head banger “Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweakers.” The band’s first set featured tracks from previous albums like “Sailing The Seas Of Cheese,” “Tails From The Punchbowl” and even “Antipop.”

“We’ve been told we don’t play enough off of Antipop,” Claypool said.

Alongside pre-hiatus tunes from “Antipop,” Primus also played their most popular songs like “Jerry Was A Racecar Driver,” “My Name Is Mud” and “Too Many Puppies.”

Artwork inspired by author Ul de Rico’s children book “The Rainbow Goblins” displays during Primus’ performance of “The Desaturating Seven” at the Tennessee Theatre November 7, 2017. Marie Kolzow/WUTK

During the band’s second set Primus showcased their most recent album “The Desaturating Seven.” This project is inspired by Ul de Rico’s children’s book “The Rainbow Goblins” which Claypool often read to his kids. Unlike most children’s books, the book is somewhat frightening. “The Rainbow Goblins” tells a story about seven goblins journey to the valley of rainbows.

Similar to “The Rainbow Goblins,” “The Desaturating Seven” is a musical story, meant to be listened to in order from start to finish. So, like it was meant to be performed, Primus told their musical story to the Tennessee Theatre.

Opening the second set, the band performed “The Valley,” which featured narration from Claypool’s alter-ego Christopher B. Bacon. Effortlessly prancing around the stage adorning a ram horn headpiece, Claypool treated the audience with his bewildering talents as a bassist.

The performance and stage design of “The Desaturating Seven” showcased vibrant and peculiar illustrations from the book making the show feel like being in a psychedelic nightmare, especially during song “The Dream.”

After the performance of “The Desaturating Seven,” Primus left the crowd begging for more, which the band answered with an encore performance of “Southbound Pachyderm.”

Like typical Primus fashion, the performance left many audience members stunned and maybe even a little disturbed in the best way possible.