The Hunt for Green October Tour stopped at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, CA on this particular night and the packed venue was filled with frog hats, frog masks, and dancing frog legs. This short fifteen date trek has the Frog Brigade playing without openers and gives the fans more time hearing these amazing musicians collaborate on stage. The band welcomes Sherik back into the mix with his saxophone and and fun stage presence.
As the lights went down the packed venue went nuts while the band walked out on stage to the classical theme “The Ants Go Marching One By One”. Les walked out last and as soon as he was front and center drummer Paulo Baldi started “David Makalaster” and not a single body was standing still. Sherik showed why he’s an essential part of the band with his sweet saxophone sound and high energy. Mike Dillon did a nice solo on his vibraphone toward the end of the song followed by a back and forth with Les to see who could out play one another, it was an amazing sight to see. Les was seen piking up his setlist, not once but twice, and handing it off to someone while they were in jam mode. Les then started “Southbound Pachyderm” and of course the crowd went crazy hearing this, and after only a few seconds of the beginning of that song they went right back into “David Makalster” and finished.
Just before “Rumble of the Diesel” started, which is off of the brilliant album Of Whales and Woe from 2006, Les told the crowd that Sherik was back and an eruption of applause overwhelmed the venue. During the song we got another healthy dosage of Mike Dillon and his sticks that blew the crowd away while Sherik and Les went back and forth having a blast playing together again. Chants of “we love you Les” echo throughout the venue and just before the next song started Les asked guitarist Sean Lennon if he’s ever been in Riverside, which he hasn’t, and the crowd gave him a warm welcome. Les then stated that there was some type of lily pads out on the floor that he was hoping the frogs would gather too but it didn’t work. The band went into a cover of “Mirror in the Bathroom” by the new wave 80s band The Beat.
“Thai Noodles” off of the 2004 album The Big Eyeball in the Sky, which is from the Colonel Claypool’s Bucket of Bernie Brains band, was partially played next followed by another track from Of Whales and Woe, “Lust Stings”. Harry Waters showed off his talents on the keys during this song and the crowd loved it. Next was a couple tracks from The Claypool Lennon Delirium album Monolith of Phobos that was released in 2016, “Cricket and The Genie – Movement I, The Delirium” and “Cricket and The Genie – Movement II, Oratorio Di Cricket”. Sean sounded amazing as they jammed through the songs with everyone dancing along. The fun and funky “Phantom Patriot” followed and would be the last song before the frogs second set.
Bands love covering songs, Les Claypool loves covering albums. The Frog Brigade started their second set off with “Pigs on the Wing, Part 1” off the amazing Pink Floyd album Animals. Just like they did on the first leg of the tour they played the entire album form start to finish and it was truly amazing. The way this band perfectly covers an album that is well know and loved by millions around the world is a nod to the talent of these musicians and the dedication to their art. Each track played took you to another place were you could enjoy the pure essence of the music and the moment. As soon as the last song “Pings on the Wing, Part 2” from Animals was finished they wasted no time at all and Paulo went straight into the slippery track “Precipitation”. This is from the 1996 album Highball With The Devil from Les Claypool And The Holy Mackerel band. Stage hands brought out an electric standup bass for Les and he walked out with his pig mask and played the song. Sherik went nuts on his saxophone as usual and the song was a favorite of the night.
Mike and Paulo did a fun intro to “Long in the Tooth” from Purple Onion while the rest of the band joined in and the layers of each instrument playing together fit just right and sounded amazing. As a special gift to the fans the next song was a Beatles cover called “Tomorrow Never Knows” and it was the perfect track to cover for this band. A true homage to the most famous band in the world and it couldn’t have sounded better. Each band member walked off stage one by one at the end of the song and it was a perfect ending to an amazing set.
The Frog Brigade walked back onto stage with a huge ovation and the crowd was ready for more. Harry started on the keys as Les was the last to walk out and the anticipation grew for the next song that was going to be played. To everyone’s surprise they covered the track “Locomotive Breath” by the legendary group Jethro Toll. Sherik showed how to do a flute solo on the sax in style as Sean Lennon shredded on his guitar for an amazing solo as well. Harry went on another key solo before the end of the songs and everyone was cheering at the top of their lungs. What a performance, these are the moments that make these concerts special. The Frog Brigade ended the night with “Holy Mackerel” also off of Highball With The Devil as everyone moved and grooved to the beat. A perfect ending to a perfect night with Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade and let us hope that there will be more after this short October run. Let’s hope for some new original material from this band and another tour in the near future, you definitely don’t want to miss it when they come to a city near you.
Rumble of the Diesel
Mirror in the Bathroom
Cricket and The Genie (Movement I, The Delirium)
Cricket and The Genie (Movement II, Oratorio Di Cricket)
Pigs on the Wing, Part 1
Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Pigs on the Wing, Part 2
Long in the Tooth
Tomorrow Never Knows