Primus and the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble sold out at the Paramou

January 4, 2015

”There’s no earthly way of knowing, which direction we are going...”  When I was growing up I was a bookworm. I remember being absolutely obsessed with Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." I couldnt' tell you how many times I read the book before my 10th birthday but it was many. The story helped mold me into who I am today (scary right?). 

When I learned that Primus had taken on the music from David L. Wolper’s movie 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' I was very excited to learn more. Last night the band performed at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. The concert was an audio and visual sensory explosion. If you happened to buy some Primus brand chocolate bars in the lobby your senses of taste and smell were hit too.

The show started with a very simple, very dimly lit stage setting. Les Claypool, drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander and guitarist Larry “Ler” LaLonde played for about an hour in front of a curtain. This portion of the show was incredible enough to justify buying a ticket with the set closing out with two of my favorite songs "My name is Mud" and "Jerry was a race car driver." This incredible set had me very excited to learn what was behind the curtain. The separation of the show was so cool. Essentially, it was Primus opening for Primus.

After a brief intermission the curtain came up and we were all taken to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory...with a twist. Primus had taken the classic songs from one of the most iconic movies ever made and they transformed them into their own. The thing is, it didn't seem weird. Well, that's not was definitely weird but in a good way. Many people I know were greatly bothered by the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp remake of the movie. There was a lot of controversy because the original movie had resonated so deep with so many. Fans were offended by the remake. Because of that, I feel that anyone making any changes to the original is taking a giant risk. Personally, I didn't mind the remake so much as a movie but I never really related it to the original story. In my mind it was a completely different story that happened to use the same characters. The Primus and the Chocolate Factory performance had the music dramatically twisted from the original but it still felt like part of the original story to me. Images of Grandpa Joe, Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka on the screen behind the band really brought it home. It was a fun show that had me smiling the entire night.

This was by far the best show I've photographed in 2015 :)

Mat Hayward
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