Hayley Jane & The Primates at Portland House of Music- Portland, Me

Hayley Jane and the Primates

Back in Maine! Back at a Hayley Jane & The Primates show! It’s been a week since I saw them last but the extended family made it out for this gig. Not just some bandmate family either, some of the SOs and some of my friends from around the state came in as well. I’ve managed to convert a few locals, some of whom have said, “I didn’t think I’d be into this but I love them.” One of whom I’ve not seen dance since Jane’s Addiction at Gathering of the Vibes (RIP).

I asked the doorman what time the band was going on just as their van pulled up. Hellos, hugs, and confirmation there was time enough for a late dinner. Post chewing, the crew made it inside to catch up over the opening acts. Snughouse and Gretchen & the Pickpockets both played great sets of endearing, impactful tunes. Our catching up intruded slightly but I’m eager to get another listen.

On to the main event. We got to hear a new track which I first heard last weekend, a second new track, and a revamp of an older tune of theirs. This says a lot to me. New songs and new spins on a classic means they’re not drifting in the wind and resting. To take all this on within a year of a new album is ambitious and exciting. More reason to keep coming is what I’m saying and to feel that the band is playing along, well… hooray!

I spoke with a friend who has seen them more than me (can you believe it?) and she asked, “can you guess the next song?” I could, did, and did so accurately. Her concern was that the sets were becoming predictable. While I mentioned a change I noticed (a new opener that used to be a closer), she still thought there could be more variety. There are a bunch of older songs I’d love to hear now that she mentions it. Last week they brought back Magic Dance by Bowie which was nice. When it comes down to it, I’m happy to see the band. This goes for most bands I see. When I saw the Dead in ’95 I knew I wouldn’t get a ’77 show. When I saw Phish in ’97 I assumed it would stay that good forever. Each show is a unique universe even if every song is the same. I would love to hear HJP jam and would love to see a multi-set show. That time is coming and for now, I’m happy to get as much as I can.


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