While Primus has spent the better part of a year on the road paying tribute to the 1977 Rush classic A Farewell to Kings—with scores of dates still on the books for 2022—Friday night’s performance at Toronto’s Massey Hall marked the first A Tribute to Kings tour stop in Canada, the Rush motherland. Appropriately, among the masses gathered to watch Les ClaypoolLarry “Ler” LaLonde, and Tim “Herb” Alexander play Rush in the home of Rush were surviving Rush members Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee.

As Geddy Lee gushed about the experience in an Instagram post, “On Friday night we had the joyful experience of reuniting with our grand pals from Primus… Les, Ler, Herb and their gang… We sat side stage as they immaculately worked through a cool selection of classic Primus tunes which brought back fond memories of our touring together back in the early [’90s].”

Related: Primus Shares Three-Song ‘Conspiranoid’ EP, First New Release In Five Years [Stream]

A Tribute To Kings marks a full-circle moment for Claypool and company, who first opened for Rush back in 1992. When the tour was initially announced weeks after the death of Rush drummer Neil Peart, Claypool explained, “[Rush’s] 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 ’90s, 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.”

Claypool has treated this lengthy musical homage with conscious reverence for the “kings” being honored. As he said back in 2020, “I talked to Geddy about it, yeah. I texted with him — I keep in touch with Geddy — just to make sure we weren’t trodding on something weird. He just got excited; he thought it was a great idea. You know, we go way back with those guys so I think it made him feel good that it was going to be us that was going to do this thing.”

Primus – “Xanadu” (Rush) – Toronto, ON – 5/13/21

[Video: Tim Mitra MTJC SpockCast]

Lee offered a glowing review of A Farewell to Kings as performed by Primus, noting in his post-Toronto review, “We were treated to the weird and wonderful experience of watching them perform our music: A Farewell to Kings in it’s entirety. Totally nailed it! They did us proud and we thank them deeply for the tribute and the lasting friendship.” The Rush account later used the same message from Lee as the caption for a video post showing the VIP guests’ aforementioned side stage view.

“It’s an amazing day when you can perform a tribute of songs in front of some of your musical heroes,” Les said of the honored guests at the Friday night show in Toronto. “It’s even more wonderful when they are your pals and amazing humans. Only wish Neil could have been there. Great and momentous occasion.”

Related: The Claypool Lennon Delirium Welcomes Rush’s Geddy Lee For Beatles Cover In Toronto [Watch]

Check out some photos, videos, and reflections from the members of Primus and Rush about the Toronto A Tribute to Kings show below. For a full list of upcoming Primus tour dates, head here.


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