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Quebec City Summer Festival 2015 Primus

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Quebec City Summer Festival Day 6 – Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble place the audience under a sweet spell.

Primus - 4site-2

Oompa Lumpas – Photos: Dagmar Yu

Primus line up Quebec City Summer Festival/Festival D’ete 2015
Les Claypool – lead vocals
Larry LaLonde – guitar
Tim “Herb” Alexander – drums
The Fungi Ensemble
Mike Dillon – vibraphone, marimba, tablas
Sam Bass – cello

Attendance: 1500-2000
Set Length Approximately: 2hrs

Visual/Sound Presentation: 8
Stage Presence: 8
Musical Ability: 8
Originality: 13 (never given before as 10 is the highest possible score)
Crowd Reception: 8
Wow Factor: 8

“Bonsoir!  Alright so know you’ve had a little Wonka under your belt, a little chocolate factory.   I agree that’s a prefect and incredible segue to a song about a furry woodland creature, a dam building bastard as it were.   And I’m not talking about Lur (Le) French Canadian La Mom…free fall!”  Stated legendary Bassist Les Claypool (in a bastardized attempt to make a reference to French women) before ripping into 1996 Grammy nominated Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver.   Accompanied by visuals from Salad Fingers (British cartoonist David Firth) a small mosh pit broke out towards the front.   This was the first time in the evening that Claypool engaged the crowd.

Prior to that statement, Primus was not Primus.   Well not the Primus that us 30 something year olds remember from the days of Sailing the Seas of Cheese, when we allowed our minds to bake like ants through a magnifying glass gleaming under an MTV sun.  In fact, for the first 40 minutes fans were forced to endure Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble, Claypool’s latest forays into the world of Roald Dahl and Charlie and The Chocolate factory.

“We didn’t know exactly which set we were getting until 2 days ago” said Festival employee Stephanie LeGros.   “The technicians have been working hard, it’s going to be a great show!”

Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble is a concept album, well more of a soundtrack, well more of a re-imagining on a soundtrack for the 1971 musical fantasy film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.     It’s 25 percent confusion, 25 percent chaos, 50 percent chaos but 100 percent Primus.  All of this was tossed onto an impressive set which included giant mushrooms, Oompa Loompas and tech crew dressed as Chocolate factory workers.

Similar to the whole dark side of Oz concept (where Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon is played with The Wizard Of Oz), the band played to scenes from the film accompanied by everything from vibraphone, tablas, marimba and cellos layered over the core of Primus.

If you were interested in a trip that spanned generations you got it.    Core fans from the 90s raged next to little children while the band did their play by play of the album.

However, the show didn’t really take off until Claypool engaged the crowd.   After Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers, the rained started to pummel the Hyro Stage while the band played Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver and American Life, closing out the night with Too Many Puppies and 1991’s Jerry Was A Race Car Driver.   The crowd cheered hard for an encore after the 90min set, but the only thing they got was the sight of the red technicians.

When all was said and done Primus with the core members of Claypol, LaLonde and Alexander pulled off a solid performance and held their own at Festival D’ete De Quebec.



This show was just as weird as its name. 13/10 for originality, Primus Darrell ShelleyPhotos: Dagmar Yu

Posted by The Scene Magazine on Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Darrell Shelley

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