Les Claypool and his Fearless Flying Frog Brigade took flight this week on the West Coast for the first stretch of dates on their Summer of Green tour, the project’s first outing in nearly two decades.

This summer’s iteration of the evolving outfit features a mix of Frog Brigade vets, family ties, and other Claypool collaborators. Guitarist Sean Lennon (the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono and Les’ counterpart in The Claypool Lennon Delirium), keyboardist Harry Waters (the son of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters), and drummer Paulo Baldi (of The Claypool Lennon Delirium and CAKE) bring elements of Claypool’s recent projects to the Brigade, while Mike Dillon (percussion) and Skerik (saxophones) represent a veteran presence in the outfit along with continued creative momentum from their recent Bastard Jazz improv sessions.

With Skerik on the inactive roster for the time being due to a shoulder injury, Claypool has looked to Angelo Moore of Fishbone, the supporting act for the initial stretch of dates, for assistance on the band’s live pursuits—an addition that extends the tailwinds of the Frog Brigade even further into the past than its early-2000s heyday. On Friday in Napa, CA, while welcoming Moore to the stage to add saxophone to “Rumble of the Diesel”, Claypool referred to the world-changing message and music of Fishbone, noting the extensive inspiration he has always taken from the beloved L.A. fusion-rock band.

As advertised, each night on Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade tour has included a Live Frogs-style recreation of Pink Floyd‘s Animals in the middle of the show, with plenty of assorted Claypool material surrounding it on either side. That format has allowed this band of master improvisers some leeway to change things up and lean into what feels right on each given night. In Napa, Les seemed drawn toward Primus staple “Southbound Pachyderm”, working bits of the song into songs throughout the evening. When the band returned at the end of the 2.5-hour set for an encore—once again featuring Angelo Moore, this time on theremin—the foretold “Pachyderm” arrived in full, to thrilling effect.

Below, view a a selection of crowd-shot videos and gallery of photos from the Napa show below via Jason Steger. Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade rounds out the Fishbone-supported stretch of its Summer of Green tour this week in San Diego, CA (5/21), Salt Lake City, UT (5/23), and Denver, CO (5/24). For a complete list of upcoming Frog Brigade tour dates and ticketing details, head here.

Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade – “Thela Hun Ginjeet” (King Crimson) – 5/19/23

[Video: eureka23]

Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade – “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” (Pink Floyd) – 5/19/23

[Video: BigDan]

Setlist: Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade | Blue Note Napa Summer Sessions at The Meritage Resort | Napa, CA | 5/19/23

Set: Thela Hun Ginjeet (King Crimson), David Makalaster [1], Rumble of the Diesel [2], Cricket and the Genie (Movement I, The Delirium) (Claypool Lennon Delirium), Cricket and the Genie (Movement II, Oratorio Di Cricket) (Claypool Lennon Delirium), Pigs on the Wing (Part One) (Pink Floyd), Dogs (Pink Floyd), Pigs (Three Different Ones) (Pink Floyd), Sheep (Pink Floyd), Pigs on the Wing (Part Two) (Pink Floyd), Precipitation, One Better [2]

Encore: Southbound Pachyderm (Primus) [3]

[1] with Southbound Pachyderm tease
[2] with Angelo Moore (Fishbone) on saxophone
[3] with Angelo Moore (Fishbone) on theremin