March 9, 2004
Grady Cole Center - Charlotte, NC

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Long ago, in a galaxy far away, Primus was the oddest of all of the alt-metal bands. Plodding, psychotic and THC driven anthems for bad tripping were their stock in trade. Over a decade later, not much has changed. The one thing that has is huge. They are now the oddest of all the jam bands. Tonight’s set found them tossing out a 3-hour set that both confounded and delighted the crowd. Following a six-song opening set that featured fan favorites such as “Mr. Krinkle” and “My Name Is Mud,” the reunited trio ran through an exponentially longer take of the entire Sailing The Seas Of Cheese album. The drum intro to “Eleven” was by itself nearly 20-minutes long. This tour could’ve easily been called “The Allman Brothers Go To Hell Tour” instead of “Tour De Fromage.”

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There were some less obnoxious moments. The swelling and pulsing “Sgt. Baker” drove the mosh pit to inspired heights while “American Life” caused the gymnasium to all at once smell of pot. The cartoonish “Is It Luck” was fleshed out with Les Claypool’s rambling voice doing Herman’s Hermits’ “I’m Henry The VIII, I Am” in its entirety at the breakdown. With nightmarish, psychedelic images projecting over the band on two Pink Floyd-like orbs, the crowd moshed less and less, eventually settling into a slack-jawed stare with occasional outbursts at familiar numbers such as “Tommy The Cat.” The lone encore, “Too Many Puppies,” served mostly as a wake up call from the long, smoky spell that Primus had weaved.

(You can download the audio from the concert by going to

Chris McKay /

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