Twenty years ago, BayFest came to Mobile and evolved into “Alabama’s Largest Music Festival.” Five years ago, The Hangout Music Festival was founded and quickly established itself as one of the country’s premiere music festivals. Now, the Gulf Coast is preparing for the birth of another regional festival that could achieve the same renown. AeroFest is coming to Mobile March 20-21 to the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley Field. Organizers are building this festival upon a philanthropic foundation with a focus on the nation’s military men and women. According to its website, AeroFest is working closely with The Independence Fund, which is dedicated to the “physical and emotional healing” of the nation’s military men and women.

Currently, the festival promises to bring a “world-class line-up of music, arts, sports, education, festivities and fun.” AeroFest will also bring the “Titan FC Mixed Martial Arts Championship” to Brookley Field. This event will include 12 matches and a title fight, which will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network. Tickets are on sale now at www.mobileaerofest.com.

Primus’ Wonka is magically wonky

Primus promised to deliver a world of pure imagination with their “Primus & the Chocolate Factory” performance at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi last week, and they more than accomplished the task. It was definitely a show for dedicated Primus fans, and many whose knowledge of the band is limited to radio favorites such as “Winona’s Big Brown Beaver” might have been disappointed. However, the band was very strategic in their delivery.

Primus recreated a world of pure imagination with their take on the soundtrack to “Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory.”

Primus recreated a world of pure imagination with their take on the soundtrack to “Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory.”

The show was broken into two sets. For the first, the trio performed under minimal lighting with nothing but a closed curtain as a backdrop. They kicked the show off with “Those Damn Blue-Collar Tweekers” before plunging into “Last Salmon Man.” Of course, they played crowd favorites such as “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver” and “Winona’s Big Brown Beaver,” during which front man/bassist Les Claypool regaled the crowd with the tale of MTV’s initial refusal to play the accompanying video. Primus concluded the set with an epic performance of “Over the Electric Grapevine.”

After a break, the curtain was drawn apart to reveal a colorful stage-set filled with mushrooms and confections, and the band took the stage in costumes designed in the show’s theme. Primus rolled steady through the music of the film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” Their version of the film’s music ranged from being chaotically psychedelic to magically ethereal. Throughout the set, the audience was inundated with psychotic visuals from the film, which were spontaneously morphed during each song. Much to the audience’s pleasure, the band finished the show with their classic songs “Too Many Puppies” and “Here Come the Bastards.”

Compared to the large venues Primus frequents, the relatively intimate environment of the Hard Rock gave all in attendance an excellent view of the madness on stage. Ultimately, Primus fans in attendance will be talking about this show for years, and those who did not attend may be filled with future regret.