Primus at the Hilton Ballroom 1992

This was the first rock concert I ever went to. I was working at McDonald's at the time and my friend Chris Wade was going to have his roommate get us the tickets. His friend was a student at the University of Oregon and could therefore get the tickets at a discount. Well, his friend only got one ticket because he didn't know me and I didn't provide the money up front. On the day of the concert Chris and I were at work where I was scheduled to close and he was to leave early to attend the Primus show. I was bellyaching about how I should be going with him. A few minutes before his shift was over (about an hour before the show) he said he was going to work late and give me the ticket. I was floored. I asked just once if he was sure and he said he was. I didn't argue further. I thanked him, we confirmed it with the manager and I took off to get ready for the concert.

By the time I got home, changed, and to the Hilton, the opening band was halfway through their set. I don't remember who the band was, but I remember their guitar player was playing a loch ness green Ibanez Jem. I picked out a spot to stand that was where the crowd had just started to thin. Being my first concert, I had no idea what mosh pits and slam dancing were about. To put it simply, I was kind of afraid to get mixed up in that. In later years, I would come to relish the energy that surround you in the pit, but you'll have to read about that in other concert reviews.

Once Primus took the stage I had an incredible time. They were awesome. They played a lot of songs off "Sailing the Seas of Cheese" which I was fairly familiar with. They also played some of their older stuff which I was glad to at least recognize. At one point in the show someone threw a shoe at Les Claypool and it bounced off the neck of his bass with a percussive bonk. Les pointed at the offender and said into the microphone, "You sir, are an asshole."

After their main set they left the stage to prepare for their encore, remember, this is my first concert and I knew little of encores. Within a minute, nearly the whole crowd started chanting, "You suck! You suck!" I was quite peeved by this. Since I wasn't too familiar with Primus' early work I didn't realize the significance of this. As they continued to chant I just got more and more upset. I was screaming "Shut up! Shut up you morons!" in my head. Of course, they still came out and did their encore. Overall I had a fantastic evening.

That's the story of my first concert and how it was made possible by one of the best, and most mistreated, friends I've ever had.


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