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Latest Concert Reviews


Concert Review: Primus at ACL Live

Sunday, Nov 16, 2014

by Jeff Barringer - Staff Photographer

Primus returned to Austin last night, for the umpteenth time, to perform a unique two set show to a sold out crowd of fans at ACL Live. Austin has long been a favorite tour stop for the band and it's frontman Les Claypool on his many weird and wonderful side projects.

With a bare stage Primus first set was a solid covering of some, but not all, of the bands hits and crowd favorites. Starting with "Too Many Puppies" the band skipped around their career arc hitting "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver", "My Name Is Mud", and others before wrapping the first set with "Jerry Was A Racecar Driver".

After a brief break to build the set and don masks and costumes, the band returned to perform a multimedia performance of their vision of Willie Wonka/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's soundtrack. I always found the original film with Gene Wilder more than a bit dark and disturbed but in Les Claypool and Primus hands the music and film takes on a whole new level of twisted, weird, and creepy, like clown paintings by a mass murderer.

With oompa loompas appearing infrequently amongst giant candies and huge inflatable mushrooms Primus with The Fungi Ensemble, led by Claypool wearing a red wig, top hat, and mask proceeded to soundtrack the film, as snippets culled from the movie played on a giant screen behind the band. Favorite songs from the movie such as "Candyman", "Pure Imagination", and "Golden Ticket" were recognizable but just barely as Claypool and his consorts twisted their harmonies into a spooky disquieting melange.

I'm going to start having the oompa loompa nightmares again.

Primus current tour wraps in Escondido, CA this Saturday but the band has a few "one off" gigs in December and January. For a list of tour dates check their site at http://primusville.com/tour/.

Click here for more photos of Primus.







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Slayer thrashes Austin's Auditorium Shores

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2011

by Jeff Barringer - Staff Photographer

Slayer's Kerry King has an infamous tattoo on his left bicep that he like to point out from time to time that says "GOD HATES US ALL" and I couldn't help but feel that sentiment as I rose from a bed that had spent most of the night spinning. I rarely drink anymore, and then usually only with Kerry so the skill set I acquired at college(s) had long ago run their course.

As the hot water spraying on my forehead rolled down my neck and back, any soothing feelings I hoped for were blocked by the steady constant THROB THROB THROB at my temple and the naked glare of the incandescent bulbs above the sink. Though I was looking forward to the show, I knew it would be a long row to hoe to actually gear up, drive down, park and then hike the half mile across the river that is Austin's Town Lake down to Auditorium shores, with about 50 pounds of gear. THROB THROB THROB.

Throwing my gear in the car I headed off into Austin, arriving at parking garage an hour later, at about 5:00pm. Popping into Thundercloud for some needed rations, a large chicken salad sub on wheat, provolone, and black olives, I washed it down with the largest Mountain Dew they had, along with 800mg of Ibuprofin. By the time I had passed the Occupy Austin camp and crossed the bridge the combination of calories, caffeine, pain killer, and blood flow had made my head clear just in time for - the dust.

Continue reading "Slayer thrashes Austin's Auditorium Shores"
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Hanging out with Slayer on Austin's 6th Street

Monday, Nov 07, 2011

by Jeff Barringer - Staff Photographer
"No, I'm pretty sure I'd know if I'd seen someone like that..."

The diminutive hostess at the Driskill's downstairs bar looked me up and down and her eyes told me I was way way under dressed to be hanging out at the Driskill.

Camo shorts, Motorhead T-Shirt, and Black Converses were definitely not on the acceptable list at the ritzy 19th Century downtown Austin hotel that charges $300 a night and hosts Austin's largest ghost population. But I had no choice - the text said to meet at the Driskill, in the bar and so I pulled up a stool, ordered a Tanqueray & tonic, no fruit, and waited. After a second round, close to an hour later, I noticed that I was the last one there and they were closing up. The upstairs bar was still open, so I wandered up.

The place was packed end to end with UT fans and wedding parties, the noise like a flock of geese at feeding time. Retreating down the stairs I grabbed a chair in the lobby, and started checking my phone messages. After a half our of this I began to compose an apology message, prepping myself to bail. It was a beautiful message, filled with flowery halve truths about being up early to milk cows and the like. Before I could hit the send button, under the phone I noticed a black pair of combat boots standing three feet right in front of me. I knew before glancing up it was - Slayer!


Slayer's Kerry King enjoys a Jägermeister on Austin's 6th Street.
Continue reading "Hanging out with Slayer on Austin's 6th Street"
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Austin City Limits Live Presents: Bootsy Collins at the Moody Theatre

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011

by Robin Lardie - Staff Writer and Photographer

Last Sunday night, Austin hosted Rock n Roll Hall of Famer William "Bootsy" Collins and his all-star 13 piece band.

And what a night it was! The evening started with Mrs. Patti Collins and the "Bootsy Girls" greeting the crowd and introducing some of her husbands students at "Funk University", his online bass instruction school.I’d guess by looking that the students were an average age of about 13 and they took a few of them spoke briefly to the audience about how much they had learned and are enjoying studying with the funk prodigy.

The lights go dim, the crowd chants ""Boot…SAY"…"Boot…SAY" over and over, cue lights and large entourage of some of the most talented names in funk enter the stage from both the right and left.

Thirteen in total including a head-to-toe purple sequined Bootsy, complete with matching top hat and large yellow plume attached.
Continue reading "Austin City Limits Live Presents: Bootsy Collins at the Moody Theatre"
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Weezer's Two Night Stand at Stubb's BarBQ, Austin, Texas

Thursday, Jun 09, 2011

by jeff barringer - staff writer & photographer

Weezers infectious brand of pop mixed with an alternative edge has stood them well over the years, building them a huge following of devoted fans, who all seemed to turn out for both nights to fill Austin's Stubb's BarBQ to max capacity and then some, for the bands' way sold out stop in Austin.

Despite temperatures well over 100 in the tightly packed crowd, fans and band alike appeared to be having a blast, and by the second night Weezer had really "settled in, with frontman Rivers Cuomo kicking a soccer ball around the stage and interacting a lot more with the crowd from the pit, much to the distress of his concerned tour manager.

Fans without tickets lining the pavement outside of the venue may have actually gotten to see some of Tuesdays show as the Los Angeles based power pop bands' Cuomo led the audience in a singalong from the roof of the venue of "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived".







Precariously perched on the corrugated tin roof of the smokehouse and inviting attack from the local raccoons by shaking the trees, Cuomo returned to the stage for the third song, only to later pelt the audience with rolls of toilet paper.

Both shows were divided into two sets, a set of favorites first, then after a short break a full album. Monday night's crowd got Weezers debut album, Blue, while Tuesday's show got the cult favorite Pinkerton. There was little crossover between the 2 nights set lists, "Hash Pipe" probably being the most notable. Even though I'm a huge Weezer fan my favorite song, from the first night, wasn't even theirs but a smoking cover of Radiohead's "Paranoid Android".

It would be hard to pick which of the two shows I liked more, Mondays had more hits, but the band was much more fun and engaging Tuesday. I'm glad I didn't have to choose!

Check out more Weezer pics in our photo gallery. Set lists after the jump.
Continue reading "Weezer's Two Night Stand at Stubb's BarBQ, Austin, Texas"
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Primus at Stubbs BarBQ, Austin Tx.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


by Jeff Barringer - Staff Writer and Photographer

Primus is back and in fine form with one of their early drummers and "gasp" new songs.

Though frontman Les Claypool threatened that the new works would be heavily influenced by BOC's "Don't Fear The Reaper", nary a cowbell was to be heard Tuesday at their way sold out show at Stubb's, if you could get in. Even the scalpers were out of tickets for this one.

Primus first full release since 1999, tentatively titled Green Naugahyde, was slated to be out by now in time for the U.S. tour but has since been pushed back til July.

Fans anxious to hear the new songs as well as classic Primus tunes showed up early and the line to get in wrapped around the end of the building by the time gates opened.

Packed like sardines, the heat and humidity was almost too much for the audience, but they were a Primus crowd and long before the band appeared the traditional mantra "Primus Sucks" was ringing in my ears, drowning out the inevitable cartoon soundtrack playing over the P.A....
Continue reading "Primus at Stubbs BarBQ, Austin Tx."
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Sanctum Sully at Pisgah Brewery, Black Mountain, North Carolina

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Text by Tony Reptiles
Photo by Christina Hodges

What does a city boy from England know about Bluegrass? Admittedly not too much, so having arrived at Pisgah Brewery I stood at the bar with a bottle full of beer, no preconceptions and waited for Sanctum Sully to show me the good time I had been promised.

As soon as these guys hit the stage it was obvious that it was going to be rowdy rowdy show. From the get go they lived right up to the blurb on their website which promised a foot stomping show with a sound that punches you in the gut. I can tell you that their live performance does exactly what it said on the tin.

I realize a review is supposed to have a set list and talk about the bluegrass scene and sound like it was written by some clever know it all muso, but that would be missing the point. Really, it would. This show wasn't about the details. (The boys on stage take care of the detail.) This show is all about the vibe; the atmosphere, the journey you are taken on. Each song comes rolling out so cleverly that once or twice it was a surprise to realize that the last song had finished and the band were now chatting with the crowd. They're that smooth.
OK, if you insist on a set list I can tell you that unless you have heard them play "Lookout Mountain" you have never lived. "Cornfed" was so rousing and cleverly arranged that it had me grinning for the rest of the evening and once I had heard them "Po Boy" I realized that I knew everything an Englishman needed to know about bluegrass.

Did I mention that topping the bill was Larry Keel? He's a bluegrass legend apparently, and I thoroughly enjoyed his set too. That said, and in my own humble opinion, Sanctum Sully was a hard act to follow and only a legend would have the necessaries to do so. The crowd were rapturous when Larry joined the Sully boys on stage and I felt privileged to be in the right place at the right time and that I had witnessed something special. Boy was I spoiled with Bluegrass magic that night!

Sanctum Sully are already too big for Pisgah Brewery and I can't help thinking how great they would look owning the stage headlining the Orange Peel, with a great light show, a massive PA with a few dozen screaming groupies waiting by the stage door. As it stands their show so big as to almost drown us in the snug venue we saw them in that night. They're going to be around for a long time so I recommend you go see them before their management puts a stop to the open door after-show parties.
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