Written By: Rob Newman / Photographed by: Rev. TJ McGlinchey, MFA, MAE
I remember the first time I saw Les Claypools Fearless Flying Frog Brigade. It was their first tour. Roseland Ballroom. I believe it was the Autumn of 2000. Straight up party band with some very interesting and high-energy jamming. This is an entirely different band. Sean Lennon has taken over on guitar, and Harry Waters on keyboards. Mike Dillon remains on percussion, and Skerick is still shredding away on sax.
This band has more of a traditional psychedelic sound than the original lineup. Less funk, more trance… and it works!!! The band played a diversified setlist. Lots of old Claypool songs from his old group Sausage, some Lennon/Claypool Delirium, and a cover of The Beats “Mirror in the Bathroom”. The second set opened with a dead-on accurate rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Animals”. Harry Waters, son of PinkFloyd’s bassist/vocalist Roger Waters, keyboards playing really shone through. Genre-shifting has always been one of the things this group has provided, and this version of the band truly holds that tradition. From the blistering surf rock of an extended and jammed-out “Hendershot”, to the avant-garde “Riddles Are Abound Tonight”, and “Precipitation”. The show ended with a super high energy of the Frog Brigade classic “Whamola”. Claypool & Lennon truly have amazing chemistry on stage. Trading vocals and almost co-fronting the group. His guitar style also works well with Claypool’s virtuosic bass playing. He understands when not to play. Something I’ve always appreciated in guitarists.
A truly amazing performance. And very nostalgic for most attendees, the frog brigade hadn’t played in about 2 decades, great to see them back. The night ended with the usual nitrous black market that you’d expect to see in parking lots. Sad stuff… It’s a tragic comedy. Anyway, I’m grateful to have been there for the show. You should go see The Fearless Flying Frog Brigade any chance you can get!