Primus Live

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By Chris Olsen

Hey, this is Chris again for second concert review. As you may know I went to Ozzfest over the summer and some people thought my opinion on some of the bands there was off. I recently went to a Primus concert at the Agora in Cleveland.

There is no argument that Les Claypool is one of the greatest bass players in the world. When you put Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde and Tim Alexander together – the original Primus – you might have one of the greatest bands ever. Alright now on to the concert…

As I walked through the crowd to get to my spot to take pictures right next to the stage, my fellow bass players were comparing the Primus songs they can play and how to play them.

I was tempted to join in on the conversation but I am not close to being able to play a Primus song, so I decided to abstain. I was greeted by a large security guard asking my age and making comments on how I should be at home sleeping. I wanted to calmly reply “please lick my butt and leave me alone” but I decided not to because I did not want to jeopardize my position to live. I was chilling when all of a sudden the lights went dim and Les Claypool in all of his glory walked out on stage joined by Tim (“Herb”) and Larry.

They started off by playing “Harold of the Rocks” then other songs from Frizzle Fry like “DMV,” “Toys Go Winding Down,” and more. Everyone knew the words to practically every song. Les would stop singing and hear the crowd blurt out the words. Then came the intermission.

Then they came back on stage and Les brought out his stand-up bass and played the opening song to the Sailing the Seas of Cheese CD. Then came “Here Come the Bastards” where everyone started going crazy and you could hear the crowd actually singing over Les. In the stage background there were two very large balls hanging from the ceiling with pictures cast on them. There was awesome lighting.

“Sergeant Baker” was next in the line-up and once again I thought a riot was going to break out. I thought I was going to be the one who started it. Then came an extended version of “American Life” that was awesome.

Then came … you guessed it, “Jerry was a Race Car Driver” and the place went nuts. Everyone was singing and moshing beyond belief. I was filled with so much excitement I could not contain myself. I felt like I was five again waking up on Christmas morning and looking at a roomful of presents.

After that Tim (“Herb”) came out with an amazing drum solo that had to have lasted five-to-ten minutes. It was incredible. After that I could have died a happy person.

Because it was a school night I had to leave a little bit early – I quickly escaped to my car. But that was not the end of it. I got extremely lost and drove around for half-an-hour looking for the freeway entrance. I finally got on but somehow ended up going northeast instead of southeast.

I got off after about 10 minutes of that nonsense and stopped at a gas station to ask directions – all I heard out of three minutes of speaking was “take a left.” So I wearily took his advice and finally made it onto the freeway going the correct way and made it home safely.

It was an awesome concert I can now die happy and if they come to your town I suggest you go and not miss a second. Peace out until the next concert!
(photos by Chris Olsen)

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.
  • “please lick my butt and leave me alone”

    Eric, he is definitely your son, that’s for sure.

    Christmas is coming, any good Primus fan would be thrilled to have a professionally recorded copy of their own show, right? Do Chris a favor and head over to Primuslive and download that show. $12.95 for FLAC files of the entire show, professionally mixed. I have the Phoenix show and it’s fantastic.

    And get that boy some Jaco while you’ve got your wallet out. No bassist should be without something by THE MAN. I recommend The Birthday Concert. Maybe he’s not into jazz now, but if he cues in on the bass he’ll forget all about the music surrounding it.

  • Eric Olsen

    Excellent ideas both Tom, thanks!

  • Dawn

    Not so surprisingly, Chris does like jazz, he is quite the eclectic music dude – like his dad.

    When I am not finding his teenage-ish behavior annoying, I am in awe at how incredibly cool he is. Apples do not fall far from the tree – especially this one.

  • Eric Olsen

    Chris is a super cool little dude, and he is very eager to learn about new music all the time. He rules.

  • Indeed, Chris rules. Good to see him following in his pop’s critical footsteps.

  • Chris may rule now, but not for long if he continues to get lost in neighborhoods near the Agora. Anyway, great job and thanks again for the picture that was added to my review.

  • Eric Olsen

    We should note Craig’s fine review of the same show is here.

  • Chris – great review. Primus is one of those bands i keep telling myself i have to see (if only for Les) but i never get the chance. Are they on tour?

    I play bass’s good to know Primus can still draw new fans, especially the bassists out there. Les is unbelievable. What the hell does that guy do anyway? He’s not human. I heard someone call it “cartoon bass” once. Fits well, I think.

  • Eric Olsen

    He’s good enough to play anything straight AND to make it sound like a novelty instrument – he’s the Spike Jones of the bass.

  • The funniest Les Claypool tidbit I ever heard is when I was watching the Metallica behind the music and they told the story about how les was one of the people to try out for Metallica’s bass player after their tragic bus crash. Lars said that Les came in and was just too good to play any of the Metallica stuff. I don’t like Metallica, but when you are a bass player and you are too good for the premier metal band, probably of all time, that is hilarious.

  • Bob

    DMV is on Pork Soda, not Frizzle Fry.