Opeth – Live At Royal Theatre, London

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You have to hand it toOpeth, they certainly know how to celebrate in style. After the massively successful anniversary of Blackwater Park (Music For Nations), which saw the album played in its entirety at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, this years’ 25th anniversary saw an equally magnificent announcement. Not only were fan’s appetites whet for another chance to see them in almost unthinkable locations as the London Royal Theatre, but the news that these shows would see Ghost Reveries (also celebrating a milestone, 10 years since its release on Roadrunner Records) played in its entirety made this an unmissable show.

It’s not everyday that prog and/or death metal shows are held in such venues, much less those that greet you with posters and memorabilia for stage productions of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, but by now it is best to expect the unexpected. Once ushered to seats, Opeth come out quite promptly to the stage, and it doesn’t take long for those recognizable clean bars to signal the imminent eruption of opening track ‘Ghost Of Perdition’. Knowing what is coming throughout the first set does not alleviate the excitement whatsoever as they plough through a sublime, note perfect play through; with an extended ‘Atonement’ complete with extra guitar and keyboard solos proving an unexpected set highlight.

The likes of the heavier ‘Baying Of The Hounds’ and ‘Reverie/Harlequin Forest’ would surely signal bedlam if not for the seated environment, and the roar of excitement that greets the anthemic “Grand Conjuration” threatens to take the entire roof off.

With an Opeth show you can also expect a lot of dry wit and crowd banter from ringmaster Mikael Akerfeldt and tonight is no different; making light of the fiasco of the gig’s change to from the London Palladium (“Sorry, that was my fault. I decided it wasn’t posh enough”) to the self-deprecation of the band’s stage setup with “Ikea” candlelight, and never missing a beat with crowd heckles. Which is thankful, as tonight sees an absolute horde of people shouting throughout, at the rare times proving funny but for the most part a huge annoyance and embarrassment (seriously, its never been funny to shout ‘Freebird’. Ever).

Following the interval, sadly these outbursts continue as the band reopen with the recent tour opener of ‘Eternal Rains Will Come’ into ‘Cusp Of Eternity’. Next to Ghost Reveries it is clear that despite many fans remarks of the band changing their sound; the only real differences between them are the tones and the lack of growls. Rare outings of the acoustic ‘To Rid The Disease’ and the likes of ‘Voice Of Treason’ make this second set equally as rewarding as the first, as they draw to a close with ‘Master’s Apprentice’ and finally the encore of the band’s other major anthem, the visceral ‘The Lotus Eater’.

Despite the presence of those in the crowd who seemed to believe the whole show was about them, even they cannot leave to bitter a taste in the mouth after Opeth deliver an expected masterclass. A truly one of a kind setlist which those in attendance will never forget, hopefully for some reasons more than others.

 

 

CHRIS TIPPELL

 

On The Road… with Primus and The Chocolate Factory

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Primus is more than a band, they are an institution. The boundary shattering Bay Area act has made an entire career of brainy concepts and musical wizardry to draw in legions of fans chanting “Primus Sucks”! So when the band launched their Willy Wonka inspired concept album Primus And The Chocolate Factory (ATO/Prawn Song) album in 2014, it wasn’t a huge leap or a left turn at all. In fact is makes perfect sense. In a concert setting, even more so. Brought to life by the imagination of the band and inspired by the beloved source material and joined by The Fungi Ensemble; a typically zany Primus show is elevated to a theatrical roller-coaster event emotionally. Even if you don’t have a connection to the original film, this material hits you emotionally as much as it tickles your funny bone, as the band as always done. Shot at The Rialto Theatre in Tuscon, AZ by Melina Dellamarggio of Melina D Photography for Ghost Cult, you don’t have to wait to dream the dreams to watch the music makers weave their magic spells.

 Primus, by Melina D Photography

Primus, by Melina D Photography

 Primus, by Melina D Photography

Primus, by Melina D Photography

 Primus, by Melina D Photography

Primus, by Melina D Photography

 

 Primus, by Melina D Photography

Primus, by Melina D Photography

 Primus, by Melina D Photography

Primus, by Melina D Photography

 Primus, by Melina D Photography

Primus, by Melina D Photography

 Primus, by Melina D Photography

Primus, by Melina D Photography

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Primus To Release Willy Wonka Themed Album, Fall Tour

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Primus will be releasing Primus and The Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble via ATO Records on October 21st, with a two set “evening with” show beginning October 22nd at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia, PA.

 

This record marks the first full length release featuring the classic lineup of Les Claypool (bass/vocals), Larry Lalonde (guitars) and Tim “Herb” Alexander (drums) since 1995. Alexander last played with Primus in 2008.

 

As previously announced Tim Alexander recovering from open heart surgery and should not miss the fall tour.

 

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The band’s eighth studio album is a tribute to the 1971 musical Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.

 

Primus Tour Dates:

Oct 22: Tower Theatre – Upper Darby, PA
Oct 24: Palace Theatre – Albany, NY
Oct 25: Orpheum Theatre – Boston, MA
Oct 26: Flynn Center for Performing Arts – Burlington, VT
Oct 28: Palace Theater – Waterbury, CT
Oct 29: Hippodrome – Baltimore, MD
Oct 31: Beacon Theatre – New York, NY
Nov 01: State Theatre – New Brunswick, NJ
Nov 02: Main Street Armory – Rochester, NY
Nov 03: The Fillmore Detroit – Detroit, MI
Nov 05: Peabody Opera House – St. Louis, MO
Nov 07: Taft Theatre – Cincinnati, OH
Nov 08: Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
Nov 09: Hard Rock Live – Orlando, FL
Nov 11: The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater – Miami Beach, FL
Nov 12: Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL
Nov 14: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Biloxi, MS
Nov 15: ACL live at the Moody Theater – Austin, TX
Nov 16: The Majestic Theatre – Dallas, TX
Nov 17: Majestic Theatre – San Antonio, TX
Nov 19: Orpheum Theatre Phoenix – Phoenix, AZ
Nov 21: Orpheum Theatre LA – Los Angeles, CA

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