Seeing Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade perform Pink Floyd’s Animals live in its entirety is well worth the price of admission on its own—surely, any fan of Les’ distinctively discordant style of funk metal would agree. That Colonel Claypool and his decorated band—including Harry Waters, the son of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, on keyboard—played another 90-plus minutes of head-banging, mind-blowing, face-melting material beyond that made their Summer of Green Tour one of the best bang-for-your-buck concert experiences of 2023 so far. During a sprawling set at L.A.’s Wiltern Theatre that lasted well over two hours, the 59-year-old singer, songwriter, and bass-playing pioneer and his collection of all-star players touched on many of the nooks and crannies in his extensive catalog.

There were cuts from Les’ solo archive, including “Rumble of the Diesel”, “Amanitas”, and “One Better”. There was a nod to Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel, his initial entry into the world of entirely self-produced music, with “Precipitation”. With Sean Ono Lennon handling lead guitar and vocals, there was bound to be at least a bit of The Claypool-Lennon Delirium on the set list. On this particular Friday night in July, that came in the form of “Blood and Rockets: Movement I, Saga of Jack Parsons – Movement II, Too the Moon.”

Granted, Claypool and Lennon weren’t the only members of that band to appear with the Flying Frog Brigade. Their costumed compatriots included Paulo Baldi, who was the drummer for CAKE before joining Claypool-Lennon, and percussionist Mike Dillon.

Together, the group gave wing to a gaggle a Frog Brigade favorites. They opened with “Up on the Roof Again”, an ode to one of Les’ late friends who happened to be an architect in L.A., and busted out “Whamola” and “Cosmic Highway” for the encore, with Claypool donning a disco ball helmet for the latter. In between, the Frog Brigade closed the main set with both parts of “David Makalaster” before bringing out Larry LaLonde (a.k.a. “Ler”), the lead guitarist from Primus, to help cover King Crimson’s “Thela Hun Ginjeet”.

For all the superlative talent and legendary names that shared the stage, Les still stood apart as the true colonel of the collective. Whether he was slapping his curlicued Carl Thompson six-string bass, stringing and strumming his Ned Steinberger five-string electric upright bass while wearing a scary pig-person mask, or bantering about a “Kermit of Frogs” with Sean Lennon, the Bay Area native was happy to soak up every morsel of time in his element. That much Claypool made clear during one of his extemporaneous chats, when he went on about how amazing this tour—the Fearless Flying Frog Brigade’s first in 20 years—had turned out, with this being the penultimate performance.

Fortunately, folks who didn’t catch this iteration of one of Les’ many bands will have more opportunities to do so in the fall. Come October 11th, the Frog Brigade will be back on the road for The Hunt For Green October Tour, which kicks off with two dates in California and continues with stops in the Mountain West, the Midwest, and the South, including a festival performance at Suwannee Hulaween in Live Oak, FL and a spooktacular show at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Halloween. For more information, click here, and visit Les Claypool’s website for tickets.

Click below to view a gallery of photos from Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade at the Wiltern Theatre and check out a playlist of videos courtesy of Tiny Hat Experiences.

Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade – Wiltern Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – 7/14/23
(Click playlist icon in top right corner to navigate songs)

Setlist: Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade | Wiltern Theatre | Los Angeles, CA | 7/14/23

Set: Up on the Roof, Rumble of the Diesel (Les Claypool), Amanitas (Les Claypool), Blood and Rockets: Movement I, Saga of Jack Parsons – Movement II Too the Moon (The Claypool Lennon Delirium), Pigs on the Wing, Part 1 (Pink Floyd), Dogs (Pink Floyd), Pigs (Three Different Ones) (Pink Floyd), Sheep (Pink Floyd), Pigs on the Wing, Part 2 (Pink Floyd), Precipitation (Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel), One Better (Les Claypool), David Makalaster, David Makalaster II, Thela Hun Ginjeet (King Crimson) (with Larry LaLonde)

Encore: Whamola, Cosmic Highway