Primus and Dinosaur Jr.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Lincoln Theater Street Stage, Downtown Raleigh —
A street concert is a call to arms for Raleigh rock’n’roll fans. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many people show up to stand sweatily on hot asphalt. (Primus seemed to outdraw the recent Mastodon/Clutch show at the same outdoor stage by almost half again as many people. Source: I was present and drunk at both concerts.) The best part: the fans were all mostly 30+ years of age. Seeing like-minded brethren in t-shirts representing Jane’s Addiction, Pink Floyd, Rush, and other “dad bands” that today’s youth think are tragically unhip is a breath of fresh air in a city that sometimes tries too hard to look cool in the eyes of its hip, younger brother, Durham. My hat goes off (revealing a rapidly receding hairline) to rock’n’roll fans who yearn for a good old-fashioned 1990s wall of sound.
J. Mascis and co. brought just that. His 6 Marshall stacks (looking snazzy with their gold trim) produced the highest decibels at an outdoor show I have withstood in recent memory. Despite not having any back wall to reverberate off of, Mascis still managed to direct a fierce sonic punch down the loose corridor of Cabarrus street in front of the Lincoln Theater. While impressive, I still found myself wishing for a cameo from Del tha Funkee Homosapien to play “Missing Link” from the underrated Judgment Night soundtrack. Instead Dinosaur Jr. treated the crowd to a (deliberately) fuzzy cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”, which is apparently D Jr.’s 5th most played song. (Thanks, Setlist.fm. You remember the things I forget whilst drinking.)
3/5 stars – Now it is not that Dinosaur Jr. didn’t perform admirably (in fact I’d give them a 3/5, mostly because I was old enough to smoke weed in the 90s), but I didn’t find myself aching to dust off my copy of “Bug” to spin on Monday morning at my soul-crushing office job. (But I might get around to it by Thursday. That record still rips.)
I had honestly intended to pay better attention to Primus, but I was tipsy before Mascis started wailing, then was drunk by the opening chords of “Here Comes the Bastards”, and I kind of lost interest when they blew up two giant, inflatable mushrooms. (I mean, I would be pissed if I were standing in the first 25 rows stage right and saw the stagehands begin inflating that superfluous behemoth.)
I’m also not going to lie: I’ve never been a huge Primus fan. I do think Les is a living legend slappin’ the ol’ bass, mon, but I was more into his Frog Brigade’s covers of Floyd’s “Animals” than “Sailing the Seas of Cheese”. That being said, the last time Primus was in town, they played the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts (a seated venue). This time, they packed the streets. Hats off, Les. But I ate at El Rodeo before the show and felt an immediate need to void my bowels, so I played a game of “I am the night” (which is where you pretend you are Batman and try to “Irish Goodbye” without any of your homies noticing you are trying to sneak home and get in bed to read about wizards).
3/5 stars – Good for fun adults over 30. As long as you hired a babysitter. Unless it was the really hot one. Then you can leave before the encore.