Review: PRIMUS co-headlining with Mastodon at Austin 360 Amphitheater

by Nick Berard

These two experimental rock, prog-metal bands have been fans of each other and makes perfect sense that they would be heading out together on tour this year as co-headliners (neither really an opening band). The tour is massive with 43 dates in U.S. and Austin and Dallas were the only Texas tour stops this time. Grammy Award-winning Mastodon opened up the show at Austin 360 amphitheater at Circuit of the Americas-delivering a straight-forward rock and roll show. In a recent interview Sanders states, “The touring is really special to us. That’s where that circle of energy is, from the stage to our fans, from our fans back to us.” 

The four member band comprised of Brann Dailor, Brent Hinds, Bill Kelliher, and Troy Sanders. Primus formed in Atlanta, GA in 2000 and have their own distinct sound and pull from the great 80’s rock and metal influences in the best way possible. The band’s vocals are tight from every member with Troy’s vocals sounding like a bear in a coal mine. Lightning-fast guitar licks delivered by Brent are the icing on this metal cake. 

The band is cooking and the room is starting to move. It’s a solid roadshow and a great compliment to the Primus tour. Everyone is warmed up and ready!

See our full concert photo gallery



As the sun set and the venue lights came up, a picture-perfect Texas evening gave the three original members of Primus a great place to land in Austin. Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde and Tim “Herb” Alexander had no trouble drowning out the neighboring airport performing a headlining set that sandwiched the entirety of their recent album, The Desaturating Seven in between two healthy doses of 90’s Primus. 

See the full photo gallery

Les with his signature strut and spider finger work on the bass was insane. The swirling lights, trippy video-backdrop and punchy rhythm spun the photo pit into a frenzy as the band opened with Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers, and the funky Pudding Time and threw it into high gear. Too Many puppies/Sgt Baker/ puppies reprise, American Life (with a hypnotic 2 minute Cygnus X-1 intro), and Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver featuring the 1995, insane plastic cowboy-band video streaming behind them wrapped up the first part of the set in high fashion.

The band rolls into their new LP, The Desaturating Seven, a seven- song adaptation of a children’s book, The Rainbow Goblins written by Italian author, Ul de Rico. With the nuances of a fairy tale scored with a prog-rock twist that only Primus could pull off, it was well received and absorbed by the faithful fans. Some witty stage banter from Les and a tease of Van Halen’s Panama, threw the trio into a speedy Mr. Know It All that put the pit back into motion. 

Welcome to This World was a rare live performance-a song that had been teased live for 20 years has become a staple on this tour. Then My Name Is Mud and Jerry Was a Race Car Driver wrapped up the set that kept the crowd moshing. The encore with John the Fisherman sent everyone off with a head full of Primus and a soul full of bass!

Austin metal fans got to see two of the most legendary metal bands perform together. Primus remains as fresh as ever and like an adult trip to alternative circus camp.


Mastodon Setlist:

Sultan’s Curse
Crystal Skull
Ancient Kingdom
Black Tongue
Ember City
Toe to Toes
Show Yourself
Precious Stones
Roots Remain
Ghost of Karelia
Mother Puncher

Primus Setlist:

Clown Dream

Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers

Pudding Time. Bring on the funk!  It no longer smells like burning rubber at the old raceway. 

Too Many puppies/Sgt Baker/ puppies reprise Going back to the beginning. Like a long opening bell at the stock exchange yet going to far more interesting places.

American Life  2 min(Cygnus X-1 intro).  Hypnotic.

Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver 

The Desaturating Seven:

The Valley
The Seven
The Trek
The Scheme
The Dream
The Storm
The Ends?

Mr. Know It All

Welcome to This World

My Name Is Mud

Jerry Was a Race Car Driver


Is It Luck?

John the Fisherman

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