Copenhell - 2015

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Primus was without a doubt one of my highest anticipated encounters at Copenhell in 2015. My first encounter with the band was way back in 1991, where they participated with Tommy The Cat in the film Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, and even though I haven’t kept up with all of their releases, I have always seen them as an interesting band worth following, and I was ecstatic that I was finally given a chance to see them live.
Primus had been given the prodigious headliner slot of the second day of the festival, and even though I was looking as much forward to the band as I described above, I was a little bit in doubt whether or not they could carry a headlining slot at this festival – it’s not exactly one of the bands that get the most attention, generally speaking.

“Hello Copenhagen! I wish I had some deep, profound words for you at this time, but I don’t.”
- Les Claypool (vocals/bass)

I had read that Primus had a special setlist going for this tour, where they played two consecutive sets, the first being the usual mix of songs from their back catalogue, and the second set being their latest album, Primus & The Chocolate Factory With The Fungi Ensemble, played in its entirety. This sounded like great fun to me, but it would turn out they skipped this special song setup for the festival, where we instead got a more normal mix of songs set, with only one new song appearing.
Still, this was primarily about the band for me, and what they had in store of fun entertainment for us.
The stage looked great – there were huge mushrooms, bright colours, and a quite psychedelic feeling that set a nice and positive tone, almost cartoon like in atmosphere.
As the band began playing, I also noticed an extraordinarily well cared for soundscape – Copenhell is usually pretty much on the ball here, but this was really something extra, and it suited the band well.
Primus as a band delivered exactly what I had expected, but also not, in a strange way. The music was played flawlessly, these are amazing musicians after all, and I have already mentioned the killer stage and sound. This was a tri-factor that any regular show should be in awe of, and ought to aspire to delivering.

What I had not expected however, was the performance the band delivered. Or didn’t, I’m tempted to say.
Sure, there were some fun things going on, like the pig mask in Mr. Krinkle, and the double bass used for Oompa Veruca, but between those few instances, the band wasn’t really working hard at delivering a show. Fair enough, this was one show that I didn’t watch from the first line all the way through, but I really felt Primus had a problem reaching beyond the edge of the stage. This was sad, because they really had all the right preconditions in order for delivering something epic, but it never really reached all the way there.

So, let’s summarize what we have here.
Competent musicians – check
Crazy music – check
Entertaining delivery – sadly, not so much
In a way, I did love this show. There were many things that spoke to me, and it was good looking. But the lack of energy in the delivery, and not much presence in the here and now, made me lose my concentration in the end. I am glad that I got to see Primus, but sadly they didn’t manage to convince me that they were the right band to have a headlining spot at a festival like this.
And honestly, where was Tommy The Cat? Fair enough, it may be a song they feel have been done to death, I’m assuming here, but since I’ve never seen it performed, I was really hoping it would be there.


Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers
Last Salmon Man
Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver
Southbound Pachyderm
Oompa Veruca
Jilly’s On Smack
Mr. Krinkle
Too Many Puppies
Mr. Knowitall
American Life
My Name Is Mud
Over The Electric Grapevine
Jerry Was A Race Car Driver

Latest uploads: