by Sgt. Baker.
Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium, Oakland, CA. December 31, 1997.
I figured someone out there would have written up a good review of the Freak Out, but since none of y'all did, I shall take it upon myself to do the best I can, although I am no musician so I cannot tell you all the technical details. If I say anything stupid, please refrain from biting my head off. thanks. Well, here goes:
1. ALKOHOLICS - Ouch. They were two rap guys, and although I am no big fan of rap, I can groove to good rap. However, this didn't even come close to decent. I somehow got the feeling Primus was laughing at us, making us sit through this hell for their sake. You know what else was weird? They played Pee Wee's Play House before this band came on. I was getting all excited and shit, thinking, hey maybe Primus is going to come on now, and just screw the opening bands, but no such luck.
2. DEFTONES - Whatever. They were not bad, but they weren't anything special. They were sort of a cross between White Zombie and Korn [yes, another one of those bands]. However, this is the type of band I would expect to see open for Primus.
3. PRIMUS - This show truly did Ler justice, FINALLY. Ler came on stage first, and chilled, and started into Those Damned Blue Collar Tweekers. A fine jam song. I'm afraid I can't remember if they went into highball with the devil, but judging from past experience, they did. [I know they played Highball, and they always seem to play it in Tweekers, so I'm just figuring they did.] Err, my mind was a bit fried so I cannot remember the exact sequence of songs, but I do believe they went into Bob's Party Time Lounge next. When I saw them twice on the past tour, they only played the first half of the song, so I was excited when they went on to complete it. Another fine jam song. You can just imagine what sort of tone was set by these two songs. They went on to play [in no particular order]: My Name is Mud, Southbound Pachyderm (which is another crazy jam-out song), Puddin' Taine (where Les talked about how the singer of the Deftones jumped into the audience, and went on to admit 'I am not going to do that, for one reason: I am a pussy' ), Seas of Cheese, Over the Falls, Too Many Puppies (Hello Skinny), Jerry was a Racecar Driver, Nature Boy, Groundhog's Day, Tommy the Cat (The Awakening and a ridiculous Brain solo), and then it was midnight, or almost. At this point, Mr. Bob C Cock came out, dressed as satan, and told us he was here so we could worship him. Then, the countdown, into 98, and then they busted out into some song, a cover of some band [sounded sort of like white zombie], called Devil Man, or something. Anyway, imagine that; the first moments of 98 were spent with the stage bright red, and Bob Cock standing in the middle of the stage with his arms outstretched and Primus going nuts. I figured Nostradamus's prophecy came true, and we had all died and gone to hell. But what a nice hell it would be, if we all had to worship Bob Cock. They encored it with John the Fisherman.
I guess I can tell you some of my thoughts on the show, if you care. The Henry J. Kaiser was a decent size, although I enjoyed the intimacy of last year's warehouse show. I guess its the CAL basketball stadium, so that gives you a good idea of the size, and it wasn't too crowded. The crowd was really cool. My last two shows were in New York and Rhode Island, so it was nice to be back to the west side where people are chill. Ler had many many solos, and he went off on many occasions. It was a beautiful thing. Les didn't have all that much to say. He told us the story of the rising of the band [the whole cheesy spiel I've heard him tell before, before going into Sailing the Seas of Cheese], but otherwise, he let the music do the talking. This show was all about creating an environment with music. It was so intense. It was definitely the most intense show I've seen, where all three of them were so tight, and they all shone, and jammed out. Seeing Primus jam is such a wondrous thing. And Nature Boy. Let me just say that I've always wanted to see that song, so that made my night. To tell you the truth, though, I was expecting a completely different kind of show, after their last tour. I dunno what exactly I was expecting, but maybe I was thinking something along the lines of the '94 freak out. But that was a stupid expectation, for they wouldn't do something they've already done before. The show just flowed so well, it was amazing. I felt like Primus was weaving a story through their music, but since they couldn't really use words, they created the emotions through sound. I can't really explain it, but it is a talent that Phish holds as well. One thing that was really lame was how they ended the show so early. I mean, last year they had an excuse because Fort Mason kicked us out at midnight, but this year, they were just being dorks. But hey, I'm sure they had better things to do than entertain us freaks, and so I'm just being selfish by expecting a longer show out of them.
The song Bob Cock sang was in fact Super-Charger Heaven by White Zombie. He had like, a bunch of chicks dancing on the stage in devil-girl costumes or some crap. I think he did the song very well. The only singin I've ever heard him do was with his band the Spent Poets and a little on the Mackerel tour.
AND he failed to mention Ler playing Van Halen's "Eruption" That kicked MUCH ass!! Then Brain did a wicked solo, and someone put a beer on his tom, so he picked it up and drank it, while still doing the solo with one hand, and then smashed the bottle with his drumstick.