It’s eight o’clock and the lights go down over the audience at The Paramount in Huntington, NY. The all-familiar “Clown Dream” theme from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure begins playing over the speakers, and that could only mean one thing; Primus is about to take the stage. Enter stage right, out comes Larry ‘Ler’ LaLonde with his famous cyclical guitar squawk for the opening riff in “Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers.” Then the steady thump of a Carl Thompson bass joins in and there before the audience, in all their original glory is Primus; Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde and Tim ‘Herb’ Alexander.
Set one was a fairly balanced range of selections from Sailing the Seas of Cheese (1991), Pork Soda (1993), Tales from the Punchbowl (1995) and Green Naugahyde (2011). “Mr. Krinkle,” complete with stand-up bass and pig mask was a pleasant surprise. Unusually absent was the smash hit and fan-favorite, “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver,” though most seasoned Primus fanatics are just fine doing without this one. They finished off the first set with the lengthy hallucinogenic excursion, “Over the Electric Grapevine.”
After intermission, the curtain slowly lifted and we were suddenly transported to the Chocolate Factory. Joining Primus on stage was the Fungi Ensemble, Mike Dillon (marimba, percussion) and Sam Bass (cello), for the band’s adaptation of the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory soundtrack. With a bright and colorful stage setup of candies, mushrooms and Oompa-Loompas, the band gleefully captivated the audience with a stellar live presentation of their latest psychedelic masterpiece.
The concert was jam-packed and the crowd was loving every minute of it. After two long sets, the boys from El Sobrante, CA took the stage once again for a blistering encore. Closing the show with some old school heavy-hitters, they kicked it into high-gear with a face-melting medley of “Too Many Puppies” and “Pudding Time” from their 1990 classic album Frizzle Fry. Then finally, “Here Come The Bastards” concluded this unforgettable evening with Primus. The concert was musical perfection. To step inside the mind of Les Claypool is to step inside a world of pure imagination! It’s satisfying and delicious! You can even eat the dishes!
– By Joseph Conlon
[All photos courtesy of Wayne Herrschaft]
Setlist ~ 4/25/15 ~ The Paramount, Huntington, NY
Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers
Jilly’s On Smack
My Name Is Mud
Over The Electric Grapevine
Cheer Up Charlie
Semi-Wondrous Boat Ride
I Want It Now
Too Many Puppies > Pudding Time > Too Many Puppies
Here Come The Bastards