Primus + Rasputina
[music | Tweaker, Bauhaus, Voidoids, RevCo]
Dirty pothead hippies can be closeminded annoying drunken pricks as much as any jock. Thats the lesson taught by the crowd at Primus/Rasputina.
I don't hate dirty pothead hippies. If I didn't have a life, I'd probably be one now. However the treatment of Rasputina was somewhat sub-par.
The Rasputina set was, well, alright. They probably could have had more cello and vocal in the mix and less drum, and the lighting was abysmal (I think this is a Les Claypool thing, I'll mention it later), but they played well and fit a good mix of old/new in the set. Jonathan looked bored/pissed pretty much from the get-go, but I don't know if that's just a thing with him, didn't seem to be the last time we saw them.
Sarah BowmanUnknown Cellist looked kind of terrified/tense, but I imagine she's still getting used to touring with the band and I imagine it's a pretty intense pressure to play such tight music in the situation they're in, having to watch for shit flying at you potentially.
The one thing that my wife and I both thought was that if they're trying to introduce a crowd to their music, it might be a better plan to play songs that showcase the sound more than the lyrics. Saline was a good example of that, Barracuda cover is another. As funny and clever as the lyrics are, no one who isn't familiar with the band is going to sit there and try and put them together for the quiet songs, and you can't really hear anyway. I still have no opinion on the new material, for instance, because I couldn't hear enough of what it was about.
From what I understand, the Boston crowd was actually LESS shitty than the NYC and Philly crowds who were actually throwing shit at the band. This in turn ignited the Claypool sense of morality, and they got short short Primus shows as a result.
The Primus part of the Boston show was really good. This makes the second time (ever and this year) that we've seen Les play, and he's just amazing, they all are. We had really good seats, 12th row, and could just stand and watch every detail. Show only lasted about 1:30 or so, which seems a lot shorter than the Les / Coup show in Burlington, but it was a good mix of favorites and long jams.
I think Les might have a problem being on stage, maybe. Both shows i've seen they were pretty much always lit from behind with little or no foot-light at the front. This seemed to really screw with Rasputina's schtick, since you couldn't see them at all, even from where we were sitting. Melora's little vamp between songs just appeared to come from a disembodied voice coming from a stage-like direction.
I'm still stunned about the crowd reactions at these three shows, Rasputina fit in perfectly with the experimental nature of the Primus/Les "scene". I can see why he wouldn't have taken Gabby LaLa out as an opener, she would have gotten eaten alive. Melora Creager can at least handle her own, but I'd hate to have seen what would have happened to a relative "rookie" like Gabby LaLa, as amazing as she was with the Les tour.
As to the Hippy thing, you can't really make a comparison between a motivated, consciensious person with real, honest Commie ideals and some spoiled modern frat boy with White Boy Dreads wearing $300 worth of clothes to make himself look slacker than thou so he can go smoke up and make a peace sign with one hand while whipping a beer at a performer with the other. These fuckers are what annoy me about Vermont. Some kid going to Middlebury ($40k/year), rolling in $20k Volvos from Daddy, snowboarding at the Snow Bowl with $1200/gear on. It just annoys me, as a hard-working blue-collar background guy with a strong sense of "we should give all our shit away to help as many others as possible" type.