I was running so late tonight, that I thought I would miss the start of the show and of course, my allotted shooting in the first three songs. I barely made it by the skin of my teeth and by the time I got into the photo-pit – the lights had dimmed and Les Claypool and his masked cohorts had hit the stage.
To be perfectly honest, I hadn’t done my homework tonight and really, did not know what to expect. My knowledge of Les and his music is pretty much entrenched in Primus folklore – so I was not prepared for the musical brilliance that was about to envelop me. I mean sure, who doesn’t know of Mr Claypool’s prowess on the bass. And sure, who isn’t aware of the man’s quirky eccentricness – but I can assure you here and now – I was completely and utterly blown away by what I experienced tonight.
It was all such a strange sight to behold.
Looking like something akin to the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the band (drums, percussion/xylophone, cello) were all masked. Les himself looked like a strange steampunk Doctor Fu Manchu. It was all so mind-fuckingly surreal, ethereal and a trip! I shudder to think what folks with a few ales in them made of the whole thing…
“Is that a pig onstage?!?!”
“Better yet, is that George W himself on that there xy-lo-phone???!?”
You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.
I appreciate so much when a band goes to some effort to visually entertain the crowd – and of course, the photographers.
As strange and utterly bizarre the band looked – the sound was simply breathtaking. To be able to witness this bass virtuoso so close, and to be amongst the privileged few allowed to photograph him tonight – just made my day. Quite honestly, this would have to have been the most unique and entertaining gigs I have been to this year. As much as I enjoyed shooting Les and the band, I equally enjoyed the show and music on offer twice as much.
Gosh, what a freaking amazing evening’s entertainment! Wow!