Primus has announced that it will be covering Rush‘s “A Farewell To Kings” album on their spring/summer tour. The album performance will be one of two sets, the other being fan favorites of their own songs. The tour had been in the works since last year, before the death of Rush drummer Neil Peart this past January to brain cancer. While speaking with Rollingstone.com about the run, Primus frontman/bassist Les Claypool revealed that they had originally planned to do the tour last fall but the tour with Slayer had come about.
Claypool commented on how it feels to do the tour after Peart has passed away:
“Well, it makes the plans a little more.…We’re trying to be as sensitive as we possibly can, so it doesn’t appear like we’re just jumping on the, “Hey, a superhero has died — let’s go out and do a tribute to him” type thing. So we’re trying to be sensitive to that, and also Neil was a very, very, very private person, so I don’t know how much he would want this or his family would want us talking about a lot of this stuff anyway.
So I had known he had been sick for a while. Stewart [Copeland] was pretty close to him up ’til the end, so I would get little reports through Stewart every now and again as to what was happening. So it wasn’t a huge surprise, but it’s still a very jolting thing. When your heroes and friends start to leave the planet, it snaps you to.”
On why they chose the “Farewell To Kings” record, he responded:
“Well, like I said, originally we’d always kind of joked around about doing ‘Hemispheres‘. That record has always had a very big place in my heart and head. But as we got to thinking about the record and how to tackle it — because it’s not going to be an easy feat, on many levels: A) I gotta try to sing Geddy Lee shit [laughs].
His older stuff is up in the stratosphere. I was texting with Geddy and saying, “Man, is any of this falsetto, or…?” And he was like, “Nope, that’s my full voice.” So I might need some help from the audience on some of this stuff. I gotta play the keyboard parts.
But we settled on Kings, because A) it was the first Rush record I ever heard and B) it contains “Cygnus X-1,” which has always been my favorite Rush tune. It seems to be a good one for us to tackle; ‘2112‘ seemed a little obvious.”
Claypool also added:
“A little over one year ago, Ler LaLonde and I started kicking the idea around of Primus performing a series of shows featuring an iconic Rush album from our youth
Being that ‘A Farewell to Kings‘ was the first Rush record I ever heard, and that it contains my all-time favorite Rush tune, “Cygnus X1“, the choice narrowed quickly.
Years ago, I had done something similar with Colonel Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, when we covered Pink Floyd ‘Animals‘ in its entirety. It was an insane amount of work, but ended up being one of the most enjoyable live endeavors I’ve ever done.
Dubbing the tour ‘Primus: A Tribute to Kings‘; it was originally scheduled to be performed in the Fall of 2019, but when we were asked to support Slayer on their Final Campaign, the “Tribute to Kings” tour was postponed.
Geddy, Alex and Neil had been superheroes to Larry, Herb and I in our teens, so when we all became pals while touring together in the early 90’s, we were pretty delighted; partially because of the musical geek-out factor, but mostly because the three guys whom we had admired so much from afar, turned out to be truly great, down-to-earth humans, and like us, a tad eccentric.
The “Tribute to Kings” tour will be just as it is implied, a respectful and loving tribute to three spectacular musicians, songwriters, legends and friends.”
The dates for the tour can be found below with Wolfmother, The Sword and Battles:
With Wolfmother & The Sword:
05/26 Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
05/27 Houston, TX – Revention Music Center
05/29 Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater
05/30 New Orleans, LA – Saenger Theater
06/01 Asheville, NC – ExploreAsheville.com Arena
06/03 Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live Orlando
06/05 Atlanta, GA – Coca-Cola Roxy
06/06 Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
06/07 Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater
06/09 Cincinnati, OH – PNC Pavilion
06/10 Columbus, OH – Express Live! – Outdoor
06/12 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Arts And Music Festival
06/15 Richmond, VA – Virginia Credit Union LIVE!
06/16 Baltimore, MD – MECU Pavilion
06/17 New York, NY – Beacon Theatre
06/19 Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia
06/20 Asbury Park, NJ – The Stone Pony Summer Stage
06/21 Essex Junction, VT – Midway Lawn at Champlain Valley Exposition
06/23 Boston, MA – Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion
06/24 Wallingford, CT – Toyota Oakdale Theatre
06/26 Sterling Heights, MI – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill
06/27 Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
06/28 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE – Outdoor
06/30 Toronto, ON – RBC Echo Beach
07/02 Lafayette, NY – Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards
07/03 Westbrook ME – Main Savings Pavilion at Rock Row (Primus only)
With Wolfmother & Battles:
07/06 Indianapolis, IN – The Amphitheater at White River State Park
07/07 Milwaukee, WI – BMO Harris Pavilion
07/08 Minneapolis, MN – The Armory
07/10 Chicago, IL – The Chicago Theatre
07/11 St Louis, MO – Saint Louis Music Park
07/12 Kansas City, MO – CrossroadsKC
07/14 Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom
07/15 Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
07/17 Berkeley, CA – Greek Theater
07/18 Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre
07/19 Las Vegas, NV – Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort
07/21 Boise, ID – Outlaw Field at Idaho Botanical Garden
07/23 Bonner, MT – KettleHouse Amphitheater
07/24 Redmond, WA – Marymoor Park
07/25 Troutdale, OR – Edgefield
07/28 Spokane, WA – Riverfront Park Amphitheater
07/29 Bend, OR – Les Schwab Amphitheater
07/31 Paso Robles, CA – Vina Robles Amphitheatre
08/01 San Diego, CA – Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU
08/02 Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Federal Theatre
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Hear more of Monochromatic Black here: https://www.themosh.net/directory-main/listing/monochromatic-black/