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Primus - Hallucino-Genetics: Live 2004 CD (album) cover




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4.04 | 18 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Live dvds don't get much better than this. There's just enough experimentation and diversity in the set and the musicianship is nothing short of spectacular. The Berkeley born group Primus have always been a terrific live band, giving more dynamic and epic performances to some of their shorter songs (they really seem to pull out all the stops). Although there are no extras, and the dvd consists solely of their show from Chicago during the 2004 Hallucinogenetics tour, that's all they really could release, because Animals Should Not Act Like People (the cd/dvd set released before this tour) released essentially everything they could have released on video. Regardless, though, this is how a concert should be performed and this is how a live dvd should be made. The audio is not too in your face and the balance of the instruments is quite nice (although Claypool's bass, naturally, is in the forefront). And the video component has lots of shots of each of the three members as well as the three orbs that act as video screens.

The first set opens up with some noodling that begins the song Sgt. Baker off of Sailing the Seas of Cheese, you think that there's not going to be any true noodling from them at first because this strong is short and to the point. It's during the second song, American Life (off of the same album) that things get fun. Towards the middle, they begin a nice jam with Claypool and Alexander providing a solid foundation for LeLonde to solo over. My Friend Fats also sees a similar treatment, and though the song already has a pulsating beat to it, it's further enhanced here by an incredible bass performance from Claypool. Jerry Was a Race Car Driver and My Name is Mud (and to a lesser extent Southbound Pachyderm) are the other two songs on this set that don't see any special treatment. The Last Superpower AKA Rapscallion (off of Animals Should Not Try to Act Like Humans) gets a crazy psychedelic middle section with some crazy percussion from Alexander and some spacey bass tones from Claypool and LeLonde. And Southbound Pachyderm is benefited from an extended solo section at the end. That brings an end to the first set, the second set is something a little more magical.

The second set is the entire Frizzle Fry album plus an encore in Pressman. Even here certain songs are drawn out. The musicianship here is also key, and they pull off the old songs quite well. Heavy tracks like Too Many Puppies never sounded better, and the crowd really gets into it. Frizzle Fry has a great outro bass riff from Claypool and sets the foreboding tone for You Can't Kill Michael Malloy. This song is nothing but a short interlude not even written by Primus, but it gets an extension here. What's here is a video of an odd looking man with a frightening face in a variety of places and interacting so to speak with a variety of people. The Drum and Whamola Jam is a pretty cool drum solo from Alexander at first, with a nice visual presentation in his glowing drum sticks. His solo is dynamic and makes really good use of the kit. Soon after, Claypool comes out in an odd mask and with a whamola, which is a one stringed folk instrument using a pully/lever system to create different notes. He really goes off on a tangent here and makes good use of this rudimentary instrument. The rest of the show (especially the extended solo section of Harold of the Rocks) is played wonderfully and nobody but Primus could pull it off.

In the end, this dvd is a brilliant balance of material from Primus spanning their entire classic era as well as their most recent venture (The Brown Album and Antipop were not featured at all, and that's because Alexander wasn't on those albums). The audio is great, the video is great, everything about this dvd is great. It's a must have for people looking into the funkier side of rock as well as those craving experimental live bands and top notch musicianship. I understand, though, that Primus is not everyone's cup of tea. But for me, this dvd is one of the best things the group has ever released and I couldn't be happier to own it. 5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 5/5 |


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