Primus’ ringleader Les Claypool gets things rolling last Friday at Marymoor Park. Photo courtesy of Cat Rose

Primus’ ringleader Les Claypool gets things rolling last Friday at Marymoor Park. Photo courtesy of Cat Rose

Primus and pals rev up crowd at Marymoor concert

Mastodon and JJUUJJUU complete the triple-threat tour

“Welcome to the rock show!” proclaimed Mastodon’s energetic bassist Troy Sanders a few songs into the band’s set last Friday night at Marymoor Park near Redmond.

The crowd roared in approval and a plethora of arms were raised with hands formed in metal-horns fashion. This was going to be a wild one.

JJUUJJUU had already properly warmed up the concert-goers with a feedback-laden and spacey set of tunes, and Mastodon punched it hard to kick off its middle slot to pave the way for the mighty, mind-bending Primus later in the evening.

“This is like the best summer of my life,” said JJUUJJUU vocalist/guitarist Phil Pirrone of the triple-threat tour as the band flowed into another of its atmospheric tunes, which often built slowly, softly into heaviness. As Pirrone’s auburn hair waved in the breeze, his vocals soared and the second guitarist twitched during solos and lifted his instrument during key spots.

Phil Pirrone leads opener JJUUJJUU through its spacey set. Photo courtesy of Cat Rose

Phil Pirrone leads opener JJUUJJUU through its spacey set. Photo courtesy of Cat Rose

As the crowd packed tight up front for Mastodon, a ringing bell filled the air — and then the band’s onslaught began. For the next 80 minutes, the band skillfully straddled the line between menacing and joyful with growling and melodious vocals galore and tunes that spanned copious genres — from super fast to heavy to right in between on the band’s journey to hit all moods and cylinders.

At one point, it was mesmerizing to watch Sanders stationed in the middle of the stage while leaning back almost Zen-like as guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher powered away on each side and drummer Brann Dailor bombed away on his colorful kit. Members of the crowd unleashed passion as well: At the start of one song, a guy tilted his head toward the sky while mimicking the guitar intro and then punched the air as the song took off.

“Ember City” was the song that lifted things to its highest peak with 10-ton chugging guitars and endless harmonies to link the band and crowd together as one.

Mastodon bassist Troy Sanders lifts the crowd with his soaring, melodic vocals. Photo courtesy of Cat Rose

Mastodon bassist Troy Sanders lifts the crowd with his soaring, melodic vocals. Photo courtesy of Cat Rose

With circus music bouncing from the PA as the headliner’s set time neared, the chants of “Primus sucks!” spewed forth. It’s a joke between band and fans that has been part of Primus’ jarring and foot-stomping spunky and wacky career since day one.

In other words: Primus rocks, OK? What other band can get people skipping on their way to the beer garden, holding kids on their shoulders while the youngsters manically shake their hands to the funky beat, and pogoing like crazy as if its the last gig they’ll every attend? That would be elastic-like bassist/wise-cracking vocalist Les Claypool and his band of merry men, who stoked the crowd as the rain fell.

Off-kilter, scratchy and shredding guitar from Larry LaLonde, thumping bass that had Claypool doing finger calisthenics and a cavalcade of drum beats via Tim Alexander never fail to enthrall a Primus crowd, and that’s exactly what went down at Marymoor for 90 glorious minutes.

Larry LaLonde shreds away during Primus’ set. Photo courtesy of Cat Rose

Larry LaLonde shreds away during Primus’ set. Photo courtesy of Cat Rose

“You are one fiery group of individuals,” Claypool told the throng as Primus launched into the epic “Too Many Puppies.” People went nuts for that one.

A Primus gig covers many styles of music and that means the crowd has to be on board — even well-versed — in it all to fully appreciate the band’s talent. You’ll get some Flamenco guitar, some electric upright bass, jazz, prog and a few mellow yet still intense interludes before the band hammers away again.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Mastodon’s Brann Dailor gets intense behind his drum kit. Photo courtesy of Cat Rose

Mastodon’s Brann Dailor gets intense behind his drum kit. Photo courtesy of Cat Rose

Brent Hinds growls it up for Mastodon. Photo courtesy of Cat Rose

Brent Hinds growls it up for Mastodon. Photo courtesy of Cat Rose

More in Life

Exterior of the Redmond Historical Society office. File photo
Redmond Historical Society is documenting COVID-19’s impact on community

Submissions will be included in the organization’s archives.

Is it safe to go to the dentist?

What precautions are dentists taking to protect patients?

Little Bit riding center in Redmond counting on upcoming virtual fundraiser

The 35th annual Reins of Life Gala Auction is going virtual this year, including an online auction, raise the paddle and online event.

Medic One Foundation’s Gratitude Meals offer support to first responders, local businesses

The initiative provides hearty lunches to first responders staffing the COVID-19 testing sites as they work to test their colleagues.

UW students create Spira app to gather COVID-19 data

The app was created to screen for respiratory diseases but the teen creators shifted their focus once the COVID-19 outbreak began.

Redmond Middle School student raises money for low-income families

Om Shah, 13, created a GoFundMe to support the Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

‘Don’t assume it can’t happen to you’

Federal Way resident Evelyn Allcorn shares story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19 after he tested positive on March 28.

Savannah Lynn and Will Chadek in the Second Story Repertory of Redmond’s production of “The Fantasticks.” “The Fantasticks” had been performed three times by the organization until coronavirus concerns resulted in the cancellation of the remaining dates. Photo by Michael Brunk
How is the coronavirus affecting the arts?

Representatives from Eastside arts institutions discuss their experiences.

Madison Miller/staff photo
                                Aleana Roberts tries out the Jelly Jolts’ braille menu at Molly Moon’s on Feb. 23. From left: Roberts, Sanj Saini, Varnika Bhargava and Katiali Singh.
LWSD teens reveal braille menu at Molly Moon’s in Redmond

From 3-5 p.m. on Feb. 23, all sales from Molly Moon’s went to the Lighthouse for the Blind.

Standing room only at historical talk on Redmond’s ties to fascism

Redmond Historical Society presents latest installment of Saturday Speaker Series.

Making a human connection in a sea of social media

A monthly health column about natural medicine.