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HALLUCINO-GENETICS: LIVE 2004

Primus

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GoldenSpiral
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4 stars Being there was so much better. It's kind of weird watching a DVD of a concert you actually attended, as even the comfort of your living room cannot match the atmosphere of a large indoor concert venue hot- boxed with pot smoke. However, I will endeavor to make as unbiased a review as I can. The audio and visual quality on this DVD is decent, but not the best. It was recorded in simple stereo and has no alternative audio features (that I could find, anyway) such as 5.1 or even 2.1 sound. The content, however, is well worth whatever you paid for the DVD. Primus is certainly not a band who just goes on stage and runs through their songs. They put on quite a show. The show consists of two separate sets: the first is just over an hour long, and is a collection of new material from the Animals Should not Act Like People CD, as well as some old favorites; for the second set, they perform the classic Frizzle Fry Album in its entirety. But of course, they don't just stand there and play the songs, but rather often do extended jams and interludes, turning 4 minute songs into 10+ minute songs. During the second set, Drummer Tim Alexander (who was the drummer on the Frizzle Fry and Seas of Cheese albums, and later replaced) begins an amazing drum solo, only to be joined minutes later by Les Claypool on his one-string "whamola", which rather reminds me of an electric washtub bass. Apart from the enhanced music, the concert is also quite interesting visually. 3 giant orbs form the backdrop of the stage, and projected onto each was a series of psychadelic visuals that move and shift with the music. These were actually quite creepy at times, and I was sober at the show, I can't imagine what it was like for the people who were high (and there were a LOT). It is also great to be able to watch each musician's technique close up. It makes you realize that each member of Primus is a musical genius in his own way. Overall, this DVD is quite good. There is a lot of content (over 3 hours of music in all), despite the lack of extras. Any Primus fan will enjoy it thoroughly, and it can also serve as a good way to get a fan of jam music interested in Primus. However, it is probably not for the average casual prog listener, just because it's primus and they're... well, different. As concert DVD's go, however, it is among the most interesting I've seen, and it makes the connection between Primus and psychadelic/prog music quite clear, and it demonstrates a musically adventurous attitude that most prog fans can embrace.

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Send comments to GoldenSpiral (BETA) | Report this review (#42229)
Posted Tuesday, August 09, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This DVD is perfect! Audio & visual quality are fantastic (it has dolby digital 5.1). And the songs... They are just perfect. Les Claypool must be the best bass player in the world. He just does so amazing things with his bass and sings at the same time. Drummer Tim Alexander is great and Larry LaLonde is also a very good guitar player. If you like Primus, you must own this DVD!

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Send comments to Nasalspray (BETA) | Report this review (#52041)
Posted Sunday, October 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
vpupezescu@ho
5 stars Primus are by far the best band that apeared in the '90. Let's face it. When you listen to them you hear the inspiration into their music. They continue the old line of bringin' new ideas into the music. If you want to understand them you must listen to them many many times ... I like them because they have a special sense of humor ... Hallucino-genetics is a very special concert ... they experiment a lot ... I like this. Is just like listenin' to Pink Floyd's Umma Gumma. Les Claypool is the best bassist in the world because he is a style creator.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#69912)
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
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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.

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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#83711)
Posted Friday, July 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
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2 stars This is one show that didn't work particularly well for me. I can appreciate some pretty wild stuff but Primus is one group for whom I've never fathomed the appeal. Trying to be objective I can usually find something to like, and here, there are a few decent jams that aren't swallowed by the insistent pursuit of the more obnoxious stuff. Claypool can do some incredible things on the bass and that was of interest. I also liked the stage set with the cool orbs behind the band. Some have mentioned sound issues but I thought the sound was fine. Beyond that I'll just say it isn't to my taste and leave it at that. For fans of Primus. If you're not sure about them try to rent the DVD before buying it.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#140193)
Posted Sunday, September 23, 2007 | Review Permalink

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