Originally posted to Last.fm in July of 2014
This summer I got the chance to see Primus for the second time (Primus’ classic Les, Ler and Tim Alexander on drums lineup for the first time), Jello Biafra and his latest group the Guantanamo School of Medicine for the second time, and finally the godlike masters of space-time revolution, Deltron 3030.
Primus: May 22nd in Cleveland at the Jacob’s Pavilion
Opening band sucked, overpriced drinks so I didn’t partake, got an awesome Pork Soda T shirt. In 2010 Gogol Bordello opened up and killed it, this time they had some goddamn terrible hippie stuff. It was a group called Beats Antique which had high regard amongst my hippie, festival bound delusional druggie friends. I of course hated this shit. It sounded like a Shpongle ripoff.
This is the first Primus concert with the Herb, Ler, Les lineup I’ve ever seen, aka the classic lineup. Last time they had Jay Lane from Sausage, Primus’ 1988 lineup, and Ratdog which is some Grateful Dead side project.
The setlist covered every single one of their albums again, which is something they did back in 2010 as well. Love that kind of diversity even with different drummers both times. More bands need to not focus on one or two specific releases so much live, although this tour wasn’t in support of any album or release. This time they played “My Name Is Mud”, “American Life” and “Southbound Pachyderm” which they did not play back in 2010. Actually the only songs they played both times were “Harold Of The Rocks”, “John the Fisherman” and “Over The Falls”, which is surprising. They also did not play “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” last time I saw them in 2010, so tonight was the first time I saw that one live. Primus has some of the most diverse setlists around and it took me 2 concerts to hear all the big well known ones and a few of the fan favorites like “Those Damned Blue Collar Tweakers”, “Here Come The Bastards” and “Southbound Pachyderm”. I have yet to see “Over The Electric Grapevine” live but once I see that one I think I can die a happy person.
Primus know how to jam out during a song and not make it fucking boring. Jam bands take note please.
Sitting in a bleacher again sucked for the 2nd time. Ticket prices have prevented me from joining in a friendly Primus mosh.
Primus SUCKS. If they’re coming within a thousand miles of you, you have no excuse to miss it. They might be old now but goddammit they are one of my favorite live acts of all time.
Some time in the near future later……………….
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine: July 2nd in Cleveland at Beachland Ballroom
Last time I saw Jello Biafra’s band was a particularly rough day due to the near superhuman time constraints I was giving myself that day: The next day was my first day of the Fall 2012 college semester, I had not moved into my new house yet, and Jello was playing until 1 AM. This followed a 9 hour shift of work at the venue wherein I made food for and met Jello, Andrew Weiss of Rollins Band, Ween, Butthole Surfers and 900 other bands, and Ralph Spight of Victim’s Family. I saw the show, moved into my house at 6 AM, no time for sleep, and went to my first two classes before crashing some time in the afternoon.
But this time was different, I was on a break from work and had become familiar with the Guantanamo School of Medicine material. I arrived for Jello’s set to meet a friend and my boss who is still an active employee of the venue. Where last time, Jello’s political rants were at as much of a minimum as it could have possibly been, this time he was fired up about the fourth of July and the recent Supreme Court decision on Hobby Lobby (among other topics such as fracking and pollution, how much the governor of Ohio sucks and why not being registered to vote is the worst thing to do to yourself). The musicians were great and played their own material as well as Dead Kennedys material top notch. We got a bunch of songs off Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables thrown into the setlist and unlike last time, they did “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” after a particularly scathing Jello rant about corporate entities. I’m very glad I got to see Jello do that one live. Jello is pushing 60 now and still running around like a maniac and doing weird gestures during the performance, one can only aspire to have that kind of energy and stage presence at his age. His voice sounds as well as a singer who’s been doing this for 35 years can sound at that age too. It was a 2 hour set going until 1 AM again, lots of the solo stuff again but a decent amount of Dead Kennedys classics break it up if you haven’t heard any of Guantanamo’s material. Definitely check Jello and the Guantanamo School of Medicine out if they ever play a show near you, you will find it a hell of a lot more entertaining than East Bay Ray and Klaus Flouride’s joke that they call Dead Kennedys now.
Deltron 3030: July 3rd in Cleveland at the House of Blues
This was the first time Deltron 3030 ever performed in Cleveland, the show was at House of Blues which is located at the very heart of the beast in downtown (anyone from Cleveland familiar with the venue knows, it’s right at the very center of the city). I for one never believed I would see Deltron 3030 live; they were an obscure underground hip hop supergroup whose original album was released in 2000 (Yes, I know Deltron 3030 is not very obscure on the internet, but in real life, try striking up a conversation about Deltron 3030. You won’t get many who recognize it.) Deltron 3030’s second album Event II was the underground hip hop version of Detox, and I never even expected to hear that. But in 2013 by some freakishly tiny statistical chance, Deltron 3030 was back with Event II and world touring in support. And I was not going to miss this, neither was my friend Dawg who accompanied me, he is possibly the most hardcore Deltron 3030 fan on the eastern half of America.
Kid Koala did his solo turntablism set to open it up. In an inverse of the time Killer Mike made me and Dawg go on stage (along with the whole crowd), Kid Koala jumped into the crowd and demanded we do some weird dance to go along to his song composed for a children’s show. Another absolutely bizarre true story.
Deltron 3030 took to the stage with the commanding presence one would expect from a team of intergalactic, time traveling super heroes of hip hop. Joining Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Dan the Automator and Koala were a guitarist, bassist and drummer. This worked really well in the context of Deltron, as their albums have ridiculous production values which include a lot of layering. Dan the Automator pulled double duty as Del’s hype man while playing off of an Ipad. Del was on top of his game as well, he killed it and as Dawg the Del historian pointed out, Del only skipped one line during the whole concert. Dawg got us a spot right in the front and center for most of the show. They opened with the first songs from Deltron 3030 in album sequence before going to some Event II album material in sequence, then they alternated between Mastermind, Virus, Memory Loss and more new material. Then they did Clint Eastwood for the encore. I got to see Del do Clint Eastwood with Deltron 3030. That just blows my mind. What also blows my mind is Dawg, he knew every line and sang the whole concert. He must have studied lyric sheets before going.
Anyway, by the end of this show, midnight was fast approaching and it was about to be July 4th. Celebrating July 4th with the premonitions of a future dystopian intergalactic American empire from which Deltron 3030 save mankind in 3030, 3040 and 4010 (cited sources: Deltron 3030, “City Rising From The Ashes”). All preceded by the dissatisfaction and chaos of current America courtesy of one Jello Biafra. Now that is how you celebrate a fucking country, America. I spent July 4th being an unpatriotic bastard, drinking Canadian alcohol and watching the World Cup of futbol/soccer/football/whatever the fuck you want to call it, still reeling in the awe of my latest 1-2 concert punch.