On Tuesday July 11, 2023 I found myself heading to the Hard Rock Live Sacramento, which is funny because it isn’t in Sacramento California but, it is in Wheatland California. While I have been to this Hard Rock to gamble, this was my first time at the music venue. Fortunately, traffic was light and the night was beautiful so it made for a nice hour plus drive into the country.
Up first was Moon Duo. Moon Duo is a bit of an ironic name, because they were actually a trio. They had an interesting sound. They were part psychedelic, part electronic and all ambient. Their music takes you on auditory journey of light and dark energies that weave through the fabric of existence. While not an overly visual band, they more than made up for it with the music. This is something I could really enjoy when I just want to relax and escape the reality of today’s world. Their sound complimented the music to come really well.
Moon Duo is:
Ripley Johnson– guitar
Sanae Yamada.- Keyboards
John Jeffery – drums
Les Claypool and his Fearless Flying Frog Brigade was up next. Les assembled an amazing group of musicians for this outing. When Les Claypool walked out on stage, the crowd exploded in cheers. We were all ready to watch the master at work. Les Claypool’s bass playing runs a fine line between genius and insanity. He does things with a bass guitar that just don’t seem possible. Sean Lennon’s guitar work was phenominal and a great compliment to Claypool’s bass. The rest of the band kept up with Claypool and Lennon’s intensity without an issue all while dressed like British adventurers complete with the Pith helmets.
Towards the middle of the set, they broke in to and played the entire Pink Floyd Animals album (albeit in a different order) and did a fantastic job. They really pulled the essence of the album out yet, still sounding like themselves. After the Pink Floyd section of the night, they moved back into the Claypool discography. During, “Precipitation” Les came out in a pig mask playing an electric upright bass with a bow. For the encore, “Whamola”, Les came out in a disco ball helmet and played, what looked like, a weird electronic washtub bass style instrument. He is such an innovator with the bass guitar and this show encompassed his talent completely.
Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade members:
Les Claypool – bass, vocals
Sean Lennon – guitars
Harry Waters – keyboards
Paulo Baldi – drums
Mike Dillon – percussion
1). Thela Hun Ginjeet
2). David Makalaster
3). Cricket and the Genie (Movement I, The Delirium) (The Claypool Lennon Delirium cover)
4). Cricket and the Genie (Movement II, The Delirium) (The Claypool Lennon Delirium cover)
5). Rumble of the Diesel (Les Claypool song)
6). Pigs on the Wing, Part I (Pink Floyd cover)
7). Dogs (Pink Floyd cover)
8). Pigs (Three Different Ones)(Pink Floyd cover)
9). Sheep (Pink Floyd cover)
10). Pigs on the Wing, Part 2 (Pink Floyd cover)
11). Precipitation (Les Claypool and his Holy Mackerel cover)
12). Amanitas (Les Claypool song)
13). D’s Diner
14). Cosmic Highway
I am going to throw this out into the world. If someone could make a Les Claypool/Steve Vai collaboration happen, the world would be eternally grateful.
Follow Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade on social media
Follow Moon Duo on social media
Photographer of about 10 years, I have been shooting concerts for about 8 of those years. I started to get serious about concert photography about 6 or 7 years ago and now try to shoot as many as I can. I shoot mostly rock but, have done some country and big band stuff. I love music and since I am nowhere close to being a musician, this is a way I can be a small part of what, in the words of Henry Rollins, “gets me through the highs, the lows and everything in between”.