The sold-out audience chanted incessantly as roadies were doing sound checks for the band Primus at Saltair Saturday night.
And the band relishes the chanting. In fact, bassist Les Claypool, drummer Bryan "Brain" Mantia and guitarist Larry LaLonde consider it an exercise in terms of endearment.And the San Francisco trio fed off the moshing energy of the mostly younger audience and threw it back into the pavilion tenfold. It also helped that the band hadn't hit the burnout stage, either. The Salt Lake date was the second in this part of the tour.
Those who witnessed the great and marvelous short set at the HORDE Festival this summer at the Canyons (Wolf Mountain), noticed Primus was the biggest draw, next to headliner Neil Young.
This time around, Primus did some of the same songs, with more rhythmic fury than it did on the mountainside.
Claypool's percussive bass lines were clean as were Mantia's drum licks and LaLonde's choppy guitar grinds and leads. And when Claypool took on the lead vocals - which sounded like a cross between Foghorn Leghorn and an English-speaking wookie - he knarled the audience with the band's trademark wacky lyrics.
Some of the tunes featured throughout the set included "Bob's Party Time Lounge" and the famous mumble of "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver," from the band's new album ("The Brown Album") and its first charting album, "Sailing the Seas of Cheese," respectively.
Probably one of the biggest responses came during the bouncing testosterone-laden bass lines of "Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers" and "Fisticuffs."
Mantia's pounding was right on the mark while jamming out syncopated ricochets with Claypool's bass pounding.
LaLonde would knock the front rows down with his reaching guitar leads. Yes, it helped that LaLonde had some thrash-metal background. He used to be in the band called the Possessed.
And if metal was what some of the listeners wanted to hear, Primus lost its way through the musical maze and accurately played the first half of Metallica's "Thing That Should Not Be.
On a side note, in 1987, after Metallica's original bassist Cliff Burton was killed in a bus crash, Claypool auditioned for the band. He lost the gig because he tried to lead the metalheads through an Isley Brothers song, according to Rolling Stone Magazine's "Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll."
Keeping the concert setting simple, the lighting wasn't that spectacular, but it was effective. Four strobe/spots scanned and flashed at the audience while two rows of suspended stage lights lit the stage.
Two patches of house lights illuminated the pavilion while the audience body surfed, slam-danced and bobbed around to the perversely catchy tunes.
With a blank look, Claypool thumped out the catch lick to "My Name Is Mud," which he introduced by explaining the big-faced promotional video.
"I didn't really spit chewing tobacco juice in that video," Claypool quipped. "I had a mouthful of turkey jerky and spit cold coffee grounds. Because Copenhagen (the tobacco) tasted like peppered dirt."
The band's musicality didn't just seep through the songs, it burst on the scene as soon as they hit the stage with "Fish On." Claypool strutted around the stage like some funky ostrich while Mantia pounded away like some raging neanderthal. Then there was LaLonde who appeared to take everything in stride and play to his and the audience's heart's content.
Opening the evening was Powerman 5,000. Vocalist Spider (younger brother to Rob Zombie of White Zombie), guitarist Adam 12, bassist Dawn, drummer Al and percussionist Jordan - no last names please - did their best to get the audience motivated.
Buck O Nine played its blend of ska and punk with rousing energy.