Primus “Tribute to Kings” Concert Recap

Les Claypool and Primus took the stage at Riverside Municipal Auditorium ion June 23rd to play Rush’s 'A Farewell to Kings' in its entirety

Primus “Tribute to Kings” Concert Recap

Les Claypool and Primus took the stage at Riverside Municipal Auditorium ion June 23rd to play Rush’s 'A Farewell to Kings' in its entirety

Primus played the Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, CA Thursday night (6/23) as part of their “Tribute to Kings” tour which features playing Rush’s A Farewell to Kings in its entirety. Primus has been the classic lineup of bassist/vocalist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry ‘Ler’ LaLonde, and drummer Tim ‘Herb’ Alexander again since 2013 when Alexander rejoined the band for the second time after four years off. The first half of the show and encore does change nightly, while the second half is always A Farewell to Kings.

When Rush concluded their R40 Tour in 2015 the band’s future was uncertain. With the passing of drummer Neil Peart in January 2020 there would be no more Rush. Since 2015 Neither guitarist Alex Lifeson or Geddy Lee have toured. Lifeson and Lee did reunite onstage at the Rock N Roll of Hall Fame induction in 2017 and Lee performed with the band as Chris Squire had passed two years before that. Lifeson and Lee both lended their talents to Primus when learning the songs. If you’re a Rush fan you may remember Claypool in their “Roll the Bones” tour video. Rush were the kings of prog-rock so it’s a very fitting tribute. Like Rush, Primus is a trio with a bassist who sings. Claypool did all of Lee’s keyboard parts as well. Even after two sets Primus came back for a four-song encore.

Primus is the kind of band that the second they take the stage you know you’re in for something extraordinary. A very odd and mysterious band with their low light, unique song titles, and interesting videos. They are in a category of their own and all three are top level musicians. I’d like to think of Claypool as the one bassist that can start a moshpit all on his own. The first half was a total of nine songs beginning with “Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers” and ending with “Shake Hands with Beef.” After an intermission it was time for Farewell to Kings.

Alexander had a retro Neil Peart-style kit in red with all the chimes and bells like Peart used on the album. Ler and Claypool played instruments like Lifeson and Lee. Ler played a Gibson EDS-1275 double neck and ES-355TD in white like Lifeson’s White. Claypool played a black Rickenbacker 4080 double neck and Jetglo 4001 also in black. The double necks were used on “Xanadu.” If there’s one band perfect for playing this album it’s Primus.

Following the last song of the album “Cygnus X-1,” the band left and came back quickly for the encore. The encore was “American Life,” “Follow the Fool,” “Here Comes the Bastards,” and “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver.” After the tour stops in Las Vegas, NV June 25th the band will take July off until August to play at Red Rocks for two nights for the South Park 25th Anniversary with Ween. Primus will then have two more August dates as part of the current tour then will head to Europe September 9th through October 1st.

Part 1

  1. Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers
  2. Lacquer Head
  3. Last Salmon Man
  4. The Seven
  5. Conspiranoia
  6. Over the Falls
  7. Lee Van Cleef
  8. Professor Nutbutter’s House of Treats
  9. Shake Hands with Beef

Part 2 (A Farewell to Kings)

  1. A Farewell to Kings
  2. Xanadu
  3. Closer to the Heart
  4. Cinderella Man
  5. Madrigal
  6. Cygnus X-1


  1. American Life
  2. Follow the Fool
  3. Here Comes the Bastards
  4. Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver
Alex Kluft   By: Alex Kluft