Primus’ nearly two-hour set at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on August 9 demonstrated that the Bay Area band has honed their brand of lucidity and lunacy into one of the finest-tuned machines in modern rock. After decades together, bassist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry “Ler” LaLonde and drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander ooze virtuosity as a power-trio unit, each standing out without ever stepping over one another.
With the accompanying visuals for each song performed, the band gave the audience a glimpse of what the result of a one-night stand between Rush and Pink Floyd would look like. The set started with subtle political undertones, pairing “Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers” with blood-red images of troops in formation and gas masks. At other times, the group seemed just fine playing live over the music videos for “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” and “Mr. Krinkle.” The experimental rockers concluded their set with a two-song encore before heading out of town like a “Southbound Pachyderm.”