Cloudy With A Chance of Goblins: Primus & Mastodon in the QC Last Night
Cloudy With A Chance of Goblins
It’s spring and outdoor concert season is in full swing. Who doesn’t enjoy a show under the stars on a warm, breezy May evening? I was wondering if that would be the case as Primus and Mastodon brought their tour to Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater. Blue skies at showtime, but some dark clouds looming in the distance threatened to make their presence felt.
Opening this night was Nashville based All Them Witches. The previous sentence also encompasses everything I knew about them prior.
Their brand of bluesy, psychedelic tinged rock isn’t something I listen to often, but it think it really worked in this context.
Rocking, but still a bit mellow, I thought it really fit with the early vibe and helped ease the crowd into the harder stuff to come.
As Mastodon took the stage, some clouds rolled in producing a short drizzle that didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm.
The rain didn’t last long and the band got right to it, with bassist Troy Sanders quipping, “We gotta lot of songs, let’s cut the bullshit.” No bullshit was to be had as they powered their way through an hour and fifteen minute set.
Mostly drawing from their most recent album, Emperor of Sand, there was also enough material from earlier albums to emphasize that is a band that continues to evolve and isn’t just recording the same song over and over again.
While many artists strive for a unique sound, Primus have unquestionably achieved it. I questioned fans as to how they would best describe that sound and we couldn’t come to any consensus. It is funk? Progressive?
A little jazz? Some kind of avant-garde experimental fusion alternative rock? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Frontman and bassist Les Claypool’s rubber band, trippy bass riffs are are the center, but drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander has enough skill behind the kit to keep pace while guitarist Larry “Ler” LaLonde weaves in and out of the rhythm section.
Throw in lyrics that are usually deeper than they appear at first listen, done in Claypool’s distinctive vocal style, and the end result defies easy categorization.
But how were they on this particular date? In fine form. Warming up with a few older songs, including my favorite, “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” the band then proceeded play their 2017 album The Desaturating Seven in its entirety. Based on Ul de Rico’s 1978 children’s book, The Rainbow Goblins, about evil goblins who feast on rainbows, it would seem to be an odd choice of source material, but by Primus standards, it’s fairly straightforward and one of their more accessible albums. The music was accompanied by illustrations from the book playing on five video screens.
The bright, vivid colors made a stark contrast with the dark sky overhead, as the clouds had started to gather again. Still, the only thunder was coming from on-stage as Claypool and company were nearing an hour and a half set time. Which would prove to be not enough time as they switched back to fan favorites, having to truncate “Welcome to This World” to squeeze in “My Name is Mud” and a very abbreviated version of “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” before reaching the hard cutoff of 11 PM. So while there were chants of “Primus Sucks” no encore was forthcoming and I begrudgingly began my trek to the parking lot.
Overall, I highly recommend snagging a ticket if this tour is coming your way. Mastodon and Primus are veteran acts that are in their prime and know how to put on a great show. All Them Witches added some sonic variety and at four hours overall, any rock fan should find something to like.
Remaining tour dates:
|May 20||Raleigh, NC||Red Hat Amphitheater|
|May 22||Reading, PA||Diamond Credit Union Theater at Sandtander|
|May 23||Lewiston, NY||Artpark Amphitheater|
|May 25||Glen Falls, NY||Cool Insuring Arena|
|May 26,||Providence, RI||Bold Point Park|
|May 27||Portland, ME||Maine State Pier|
|May 29||Boston, MA||Blue Hills Bank Pavilion|
|May 30||Philadelphia, PA||Penns Landing|
|Jun 01||Asbury Park, NJ||Stone Pony Summerstage|
|Jun 02||Baltimore, MD||Pier 6 Pavilion|
|Jun 03||Coney Island, NY||Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island|
|Jun 05||Columbus, OH||Express Live! Outdoor Amphitheater|
|Jun 06||Chicago, IL||Huntington Back Pavilion at Northerly Island|
|Jun 08||Pittsburgh, PA||Stage AE|
|Jun 09||Sterling Heights, MI||Michigan Lottery Amphitheater at Freedom Hill|
|Jun 10||Indianapolis, IN||Farmer’s Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River|
|Jun 12||Cincinnati, OH||PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center|
|Jun 14||St Paul, MN||Myth Live|
|Jun 15||Bonner Springs, KS||Providence Medical Center Amphitheater|
|Jun 16||Camdenton, MO||Ozarks Amphitheater|
|Jun 18||Lincoln, NE||Pinewood Bowl Theater|
|Jun 21||Bonner, MT||Kettlehouse Amphitheater|
|Jun 22||Seattle, WA||Marymoor Park|
|Jun 23||Bend, OR||Les Schwab Amphitheater|
|Jun 25||Troutdale, OR||Edgefield|
|Jun 26||Jacksonville, OR||Britt Pavilion|
|Jun 28||Avila Beach, CA||Avila Beach Resort Amphitheater|
|Jun 29||Berkeley, CA||The Greek Theater at UC Berkeley|
|Jun 30||Lincoln, CA||Thunder Valley Casino|
|Jul 02||Magna, UT||The Great Salt Air|
|Jul 03||Las Vegas, NV||Downtown Event Center|
|Jul 05||Los Angeles, CA||Greek Theater|
|Jul 06||San Diego, CA||Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theater|
|Jul 07||Phoenix, AZ||Commerica Theatre|