Stripper Pole Action, Devo Devastates, Primus' Spacemen, and Other Highlights From Day Two of Arizona Fall Frenzy

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Luke Holwerda
Devo performs yesterday during day two of Arizona Fall Frenzy.
Whoever was manning the hose at Arizona Fall Frenzy had a perfect sense of timing.

Temps soared into the triple digit range during the second day of the three-day concert, but luckily the promoters thought ahead and manned a sky-high tower with an industrial-sized firehose.

Every so often -- particularly whenever it got too toasty -- the dude controlling the thing would spray down the crowd, offering relief for all, even if they didn't want it (I saw a few people who scrambled to pocket their cell phone and other electronic devices).

Elsewhere, around a dozen people ran around Tempe Beach Park and were spraying people with squirt bottles either with or without their consent. Refreshing, yes, but it seemed a bit annoying for some.

Read on for more highlights from day two.

The heat had an effect of the members of Devo, who took to the massive outdoor stage during the hottest part of the afternoon. Mark Mothersbaugh, Jerry Casale, and the rest began their set in their signature gray costumes and masks, put quickly stripped down to just tee shirts, shorts, and their energy domes. (It wasn't their only costume change, as they also switched to yellow outfits later on)

They sure sweated up a storm during their hour-long gig, which got a huge response from the crowd and featured a massive video wall behind the band that played a rather eclectic stream of footage - ranging from images of copulation to pictures of donuts and hamburgers. It was nothing but pure upbeat energy and zaniness as the '80s legends blasted out electronica-tinged nerd rock and worked their way though all their big hits ("Whip It," "Girl U Want," and "Mongoloid"), as well as a wide variety of tracks from throughout their discography ("Jocko Homo," "That's Good) and even some cuts from their latest disc Something for Everybody.("Fresh," "What We Do")

Naturally, there were plenty of Fall Frenzy patrons -- whom singer Mark Mothersbaugh referred to as "Arizona spuds," the band's term for its fanbase -- sporting energy dome hats both official and "unofficial" (I saw one pair wearing potted plant containers that were spray painted blue).

In this week's issue, I mentioned that local circuit-bender Corey Busboom was hoping to hang out with his Devo patron Mark Mothersbaugh. Rumor has it that the local artist and the frontman did have a confab session backstage after their set.

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Luke Holwerda
Les Claypool of Primus and one of his inflatable astronauts.

​Meanwhile, Primus vocalist Les Claypool slapped up a storm on his custom bass guitar during his band's scheduled set. It was a rather low-key affair that featured two inflatable astronauts on either side of the stage and the usual assortment of spaced-out alt-rock tunes from Primus.

Claypool kept using a particular funny bit throughout his set where he would talk about his love for Van Halen and how the next song was one that the heavy metal legend had written. He'd then launch into one of Primus' better songs, such as "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" or "My Name Is Mud."

While the crowd got excited for both Devo and Sublime With Rome, they seemed rather quiet for Primus, probably due to the band's rather low-key set. Indeed, many people chose that time to visit some of the many vendor and food booths. The most popular of which was the Camel cigarettes tent (which offered discount coupons and free samples of their Snus tobacco) and the Dream Palace booth (which offered photo opportunities with barely-dressed strippers).

And while we're on the subject of smoking, something kinda amusing happened during Sublime with Rome's performance. At most outdoor concerts it's common (if not downright expected) to catch a whiff or two of ganja getting toked. But when SWR launched into "Smoke Two Joints," an almost overwhelming smell of pot smoke started emanating from the audience. 

Good thing there weren't any DEA agents in the house.

Other random notes:

-- While stagehands were setting up the stage between each band's set, X103.9 played a mix of alt-rock hits. Thing is, whoever prepared said CD should've thrown in more than like six songs. I'm sure I'm not the only one who go tired of hearing "My Hero" by the Foo Fighters, "Somebody Told Me" by the Killers, and The Hives' "Hate To Say I Told You So" repeated ad nauseam.

-- Overheard in one of the VIP tents: "I'm gonna score a bunch of coke tonight and do to town on this girl." Lovely.

-- The members of white boy reggae act The Dirtyheads reportedly hit Mill Avenue last night after their afternoon set, spending the evening partying at new club School of Rock and other bars. One amused local Twitternaut tweeted the following: "How did I end up @ Hooters with the DirtyHeads in AZ tonight??"


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