Primus Sucks — A Tribute to Kings tour (Review)

Primus & Les Claypool slapped themselves into Miami Beach’s iconic Fillmore Theater on a slow, sleepy Tuesday night in early May, 2022 — an early stop on their 46-show coast-to-coast “A Tribute To Kings” tour.

The genre bending, tweaky, funky, punk rock, hippie metal powerhouse Northern California band from the early 90s is still a carnival freak show.

But a good carnie. Not a Nightmare Alley.

The show did not sell out. In Miami, the Fillmore was about 65% to 70% full, for whatever reason (popularity, Covid fears) but there were still at least 3,000 fans in attendance. We bought tickets at the door, arriving at 9pm, for $55 including fees.

If you didn’t know, there is a minor Renaissance right now of late 80s, early 90s industrial, sludge rock music. Like 18-year-old alt rockers dig bands like Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Primus, Fishbone, ect.

It’s not a coincidence Nine Inch Nails is touring hard this summer.


If you care to know, it certainly didn’t look a young renaissance at the Miami Beach show. The crowd was hardly filled with neo-post-modern punks, on the contrary the vibe at Primus was late 40-something, early 50-something dead heads, long hair, dad-bod, bald headed and bearded beauties.

For what this stat is worth, about 70 percent of the crowd were male, 30 percent female.

If you plan to go to this show somewhere along the way on its tour, here’s what to expect. There will be a opening band (Battles, in Miami).

They will play about 30 minutes.

Primus will come on about 75-minutes after the “start of the show.”

For example, in Miami the show started at 8pm, ticket time.

Primus took the stage at 910pm and played about a one-hour first set.

The first set will consist of original Primus songs, running the gamut of their large catalog. Then, there will be a twenty-minute set break. Then, Primus’s second set will consist of a cover of 70s alt band Rush’s album A Fairwell to Kings.

This will last around 40 minutes…a point in which you will slide back and forth along a timeline: 2022 to 1991 to 1977 to 2022, with Rush covers like “A Farewell to Kings,” “Xanadu,” “Closer to the Heart,” “Cinderella Man,” a ten-minute Sci Fi “Cygnus X 1” — second set, meh, depends if you like Rush, tbh.

The energy was low-key (it was also 11pm on a Tuesday).


There were vibes. Primus played till 11:37pm. They encored two or three original songs. The crowd was ready to mosh hard, in certain areas. Total good mosh etiquette vibes too, but it didn’t quite get there.

If Primus played a song like “Too Many Puppies” the place would have exploded.

But they didn’t.

They definitely held back.

Vibes were subdued but not bad for a Tuesday night.

Our apologies for not having a set-list.

But we love Primus.

We love Les Claypool and think he is one of the best bassists of all-time. We are a fan of all of his collaborations and projects, even the book he wrote (we are a literary blog after-all) South of the Pumphouse, published by our mentors at Akashic Books in 2006.

Primus still sucks (it’s a joke) but we wanted to crank out a few words since apparently no-one-else in the country is reviewing this tour.

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J.J. Colagrande

Has written about Miami culture for almost twenty years, first with The Miami Herald, then Miami New Times and Huffington Post. He's the publisher of The Jitney and a full-time professor.