Primus turns Indy’s Murat Theater into a Chocolate Factory Apr27

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Primus turns Indy’s Murat Theater into a Chocolate Factory

Primus has never been a band to do what’s normal- especially not Les Claypool. Their song titles and lyrics are always interesting and a bit odd so it should have come as no surprise when they recorded and released last year’s Primus & The Chocolate Factory With The Fungi Ensemble- an album completely dedicated to Willy Wonka & The Choclate Factory.

They’ve hit the road to support the record and the shows- as always- feature Primus and only Primus and the tour made a recent stop in Indianapolis for a night of Oompa Loompas, Whamolas, candy and music you can’t help but dance to.

The night opened with a very basic Primus set. There was no elaborate stage setups, no giant LED screen- just Primus. Though it was a pretty low-key set, they played a good 10 or so songs that included some of their more popular tracks.

After they finished the first set, the curtain went down in front of the stage and a short intermission set in so things could be set into place for their second set, which was much more elaborate.

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Shortly after, the curtain went up, revealing a Wonka Factory-themed set, complete with gumdrops, giant mushrooms and the band was dressed in character as well- Claypool dressed as Wonka and drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander in a white Wonka staff jumpsuit like you’d see in the original film. Then there was guitarist Larry “Ler” LaLonde, who took things to another level with pajama pants and a long-sleeved shirt.

Their stage setup was one to be proud of- including a giant LED screen which played scenes from the original film- sometimes in a psychedelic fashion as only Primus can get away with.

Their rendition of each song- while staying true, lyrically, are very dark and psychedelic- almost like a sonic acid trip and this was brought to life in Indy. They opened with a very twisted version of “The Candy Man” as well as “Pure Imagination,” “Golden Ticket,” “I Want It Now,” “Semi-Wondrous Boat Ride” and two Oompa Looma songs- during which two GIANT Oompa Loompas marched to center stage and made the movie come to life.

In the end, only Primus could pull off something like this and make it true to the original concept of the film- dark, twisted, psychedelic and a little creepy at times yet genuinely entertaining and fun to watch. If you check out one of the shows on this tour, you’ll be sucked in to the point you’re dancing along with the funk and you won’t be able to stop. This is what Primus does best.

-Reggie Edwards