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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane is back to rocking with Primus concert at the Pavilion, but delta variant clouds the fun

UPDATED: Sat., Aug. 14, 2021

Head banging, mosh pits and dancing; Friday night’s Primus concert signaled that big concerts are officially back in Spokane, at least for now.

“Happy days are here again,” Primus frontman Les Claypool told the crowd. “Look at all you people ‘gathering’!”

Primus’ concert was the first in the newly renovated Pavilion venue in Riverfront Park, and the first big show since the start of the pandemic. For most concertgoers, it was their first big show in a while too.

Many were floored by the atmosphere of the Pavilion lit up and filled with rock lovers. “This place is excellent and a great use of the space,” said George Lohr, a Spokane resident and Primus fan. “Tonight has just been fantastic.”

Smoke was a bit of a drag, with levels hovering at unhealthy for the entire show, according to the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency. And like the smoke that lingered during the concert, the threat of COVID-19 and the delta variant clouded the otherwise joyous atmosphere. Candy Mann, a concertgoer, said she was especially worried for her safety after hearing that the Watershed Music Festival in Grant County was a superspreader event.

Watershed produced at least 160 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in people from 11 different Washington counties, according to the Grant County Health District.

Ronald Damasceno, a diehard Primus fan, said he would have to act differently than at the previous five Primus concerts he’s been to because of the rise of cases in Spokane.

“I’m the guy who’s out in the crowd and jumping in the mosh pit,” Damasceno said. “I’ll be a bit farther back tonight.”

But others felt differently.

Tammy Mann, Candy’s sister, said she wasn’t too worried because diseases have always spread at live events.

Some concertgoers said they felt entirely secure because they were fully vaccinated.

“I’m double vaccinated, so I’m really not thinking about anything but the music,” said Thomas Ortho, a rock enthusiast.

Grassy levels in the amphitheater-like venue provided seating for more relaxed concertgoers to see the band perform from a distance as the wilder fans jumped and cheered in the lower area in front the stage.

For most , it was a mix of both trepidation and delight to be back out with the roaring crowds and electric atmosphere.

“COVID-19 is always in the back of our minds,” Lohr said. “But this is just so much fun.”

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