It’s been 18 years since Les Claypool toured with his Frog Brigade band and this time around he has enlisted a few good men to join him on the “Summer of Green Tour 2023”. The bands official title is Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade and the new members of the band are some familiar friends of the family. On guitar is the Lennon from The Claypool Lennon Delirium, the one and only Sean Lennon. On drums is Paulo Baldi, who also plays in The Claypool Lennon Delirium, vibraphonist Mike Dillon who plays in Critters Buggin and Les Claypool’s Fancy Band, and keyboardist Harry Waters, who’s played with Ozric Tentacles and has played on tour with his father Roger Waters since 2002. This is an all star line up that should not be missed. This was the second to last show on the summer tour, but fear not, a fall tour has been announced called “The Hunt for Green October” and it’s a tour that you should not miss.
Six different acts opened up for the Frog Brigade on The Summer of Green tour and on this particular date the support act was Moon Duo. Guitarist Ripley Johnson and keyboardist Sanae Yamada started out in 2009 and in 2014 drummer John Jeffery joined them and took their sound to the next level. These three set the tone and encompassed the Wiltern Theater with their psychedelic sound that captivated everyone and not a single soul was standing still. A few songs that were on their setlist was “Night Beat” off of 2015s Shadow of the Sun, “White Rose” off of 2017s Occult Architecture Vol. 1, and “Flying” the first song off of 2019s Stars Are the Light. Be sure to check them out online and definitely go to their live show the next time they tour, you won’t regret it.
As the night drew closer to the start of the Colonel’s set you could hear the calls of frogs in the background. The anticipation for the band’s first live show in Los Angeles since October 15th, 2002 (at The Palace) was building up and the sold out crowd was ready for an evening of magic. The lights went low as “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” by Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore played through the speakers and the audience started to cheer while the Frog Brigade walked out. The crowd erupted when Les Claypool came out and started the song “Up on the Roof” from the 2002 studio album Purple Onion. The next two songs were both off of Les Claypool’s solo albums, “Rumble of the Diesel” from 2006s Of Whales and Woe and “Amanitas” from 2009s Of Fungi And Foe.
The next song was “Blood and Rockets: Movement I, Saga of Jack Parsons – Movement II, Too the Moon” which is off of 2019s South of Reality by The Claypool Lennon Delirium. As soon as Sean started the next song with an acoustic guitar everyone in the theater went crazy because they knew what was about to take place. Pink Floyd’s album Animals, which was released in 1977, was played from start to finish and it was something to experience. The crowd sang every word along with the band and you could feel the positive energy throughout the venue, everyone was having a blast. “Precipitation” from 1996s album Highball With The Devil from Les Claypool And The Holy Mackerel, another one of Les’s projects, was played next with an electric stand up bass and a famous pig mask that comes out every now and then. “One Better” was next off of Les’s solo album Of Whales and Woe, followed by the Purple Onion tracks “David Makalaster” and “David Makalaster II” which don’t follow each other on the album but fit perfectly together live.
Les introduced a surprise guest, legendary Primus guitarist Larry LaLonde, and he jammed out with the band as they covered a King Crimson song titled “Thela Hun Ginjeet” off of 1981s Discipline. The band walked off stage to a thunderous ovation and took a quick break before their two song encore. Les walked out after the rest of the band with a disco ball helmet and the funky song “Whamola” off of Purple Onion started up. People were dancing like crazy to this song couldn’t be stopped. This was followed up by “Cosmic Highway”, also off of Purple Onion, and it was a perfect song to end the night with. As everyone was leaving with smiles from ear to ear “Pure Imagination” was playing through the speakers and the crowd sang along as they went back out into the real world. This Summer of Green Tour was one for the books and lucky for us Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade will be back in the fall so be sure to get tickets before they sell out!
Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade
Up The Roof
Rumble of the Diesel
Blood and Rockets: Movement I, Saga of Jack Parsons – Movement II, Too the Moon
Pigs on the Wing, Part 1
Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Pigs on the Wings, Part 2
David Makalaster II
Thela Hun Ginjeet