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The Post  
Concert Review/Setlist: Primus and the Chocolate Factory at the Tower Theater, Upper Darby, 10/22/14
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 10/23/14 7:42 am | updated: 10/23/14 8:01 am
On Tuesday, October 21st, Primus released their 8th studio album Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble. This is their first release featuring the band's original lineup of frontman/bassist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry Lalonde and drummer Tim 'Herb' Alexander since Tales From the Punchbowl in 1995. The album is "a twisted re-imaging of the 1971 classic" and was dedicated to "the wondrous talent of Gene Wilder." Of course they are referring to the 1971 cult classic film "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" and soundtrack written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newly. The vinyl release was pressed on delicious chocolate brown vinyl. However, five lucky fans will find a golden vinyl which will get them free Primus tickets for life. Primus has performed the Wonka set only once before, this past New Year's Eve in Oakland, CA. Wednesday night marks the launch of a 21-date U.S. tour in support of the new album beginning at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby. (tour dates below)

Loyal Primus fans were waiting out in the rain along 69th Street well before the doors opened just to grab a spot along the rail in the pit or their preferred seat in the house. The Tower Theater just recently pulled more seats to accommodate a larger pit for general admission shows. Most of the talk outside before the show was about we might see. It was billed as 'Primus and the Chocolate Factory' on the marquee and expectations were high. What would the staging be like? How will the record translate live? Many were excited to see the original lineup back for the first time. It was a bonus and a surprise when the crowd learned there would be two sets. The first would be a regular Primus set. The second would be the Wonka set.

The first set took place with a bare setup, a black back drop and the band towards the front of the stage. They went on at 8:15 and played a hour. Claypool welcomed drummer Alexander back saying, “Look, Tim's alive.” The trio didn't seem to have missed a beat. Les was mesmerizing on bass as usual, often breaking into his signature trot. Lalonde's guitar was searing at times. Alexander's playing was tight and locked in. Nineteen years was erased on that stage Wednesday night. The general admission crowd returned the energy, surging, dancing, slamming into each other, guiding the occasion crowd surfer over the railing. Many were getting it all out knowing the second set would be mellower.

The curtain rose on the second set to reveal an elaborately decorated stage and the band donning appropriate costumes. (Les with a masquerade mask which he traded for Wonka's hat, Lalonde in a older suit, and Alexander in the Wonkavision white jumpsuit) They were joined on stage by Mike Dillion on marimba and vibraphone and Sam Bass on cello. There was a two-story high inflatable mushroom to the left and giant lollypops to the right. Throughout the stage there were large candy canes, mushrooms, umbrellas, giant gumdrops, and hard candies. You could say it was a psychedelic version of Wonka's candy room. The large video screen behind the band showed psychedelic video edits of selected scenes from the movie that corresponded with each piece they were playing. It was an aural and visual delight, as much as I expected and more. For the Oompa Loompa sections, two costumed stagehands wearing striped socks, lederhosen, and giant paper mache heads looking like natives of Loompaland entered from opposite sides of the stage and did their little dance. The album and therefore the show was a revue of the movie and follow out the basic storyline through. At the end we were left with the Wonkavator flying over town and the keys to the factory in Charlie's hand.

Primus wasn't quite done. After short break they came out for a solid 3 song encore of originals that just capped it off. If you are a fan of Primus or even a fan of Wonka, get tickets to this concert when it comes through town this fall. Oh and you can even pick up your own Primus candy: Mr. Krinkle (crisped rice), Professor Nutbutter (peanuts) and Bastard Bar (dark chocolate)


To Defy the Laws of Tradition
Last Salmon Man
Groundhog's Day
Southbound Pachyderm
Over the Falls
Lee Van Cleef
Jerry Was a Race Car Driver
My Name Is Mud

Hello Wonkites
Candy Man
Cheer Up Charlie
Golden Ticket
Pure Imagination
Oompa Augustus
Semi-Wondrous Boat Ride
Oompa Violet
I Want It Now
Oompa Vera
Oompa TV
Farewell Wonkites

Too Many Puppies
Here Come the Bastards

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(5) responses


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 10/23 7:48 am
Primus Fall Tour 2014

10/22 - Upper Darby, Pa. @ Tower Theatre
10/24 - Albany, N.Y. @ Palace Theatre
10/25 - Boston, Mass. @ Orpheum Theatre
10/26 - Burlington, Vt. @ Flynn Center for Performing Arts
10/28 - Waterbury, Conn. @ Palace Theater
10/29 - Baltimore, Md. @ Hippodrome
10/31 - New York, N.Y. @ Beacon Theatre
11/01 - New Brunswick, N.J. @ State Theatre
11/02 - Rochester, N.Y. @ Main Street Armory
11/03 - Detroit, Mich. @ The Fillmore Detroit
11/05 - St. Louis, Mo. @ Peabody Opera House
11/07 - Cincinnati, Ohio @ Taft Theatre
11/08 - Atlanta, Ga. @ Tabernacle
11/09 - Orlando, Fla. @ Hard Rock Live
11/11 - Miami Beach, Fla. @ The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater
11/12 - Clearwater, Fla. @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
11/14 - Biloxi, Miss. @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
11/15 - Austin, Texas @ ACL live at the Moody Theater
11/16 - Dallas, Texas @ The Majestic Theatre
11/17 - San Antonio, Texas @ Majestic Theatre
11/19 - Phoenix, Ariz. @ Orpheum Theatre Phoenix
11/21 - Los Angeles, Calif. @ Orpheum Theatre LA


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 10/23 7:53 am
Les Claypool as Wonka


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 10/23 7:54 am
Oompa Loompas


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 10/23 8:00 am
Primus Set I


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 10/23 8:01 am
Tower Theater marquee


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