Tag Archives: Les Claypool

Funk in a tux, reggae with sidelocks

I could get used to this business of letting the 14-year-olds dictate my live music lineup. 

I had heard them talking about Les Claypool — bass guitar god! — over the past year, so when Lorene and Paul’s Facebook alerted me he was coming to Tabernacle, they jumped at the chance to go. But who’s this guy playing with him? Matisyahu? A Jewish rapper? Absolutely I’m in for that!

So the night before the show I decide I’d better get a preview of what I’m in for and YouTubed my first Primus videos.  Hmmmm . . .

To say I was pleasantly surprised by the performance would be a gross understatement. This was a really great show, fun music, an amazing display of musicianship.

Claypool is indeed a bass guitar god, but he certainly didn’t mind being upstaged by the rest of his band. A cello played sometimes  like a screaming guitar, sometimes like a horn section. A jazz drummer with stamina like I’ve never seen. And some sort of electronic xylophone, whose master played percussion as well. All of them, I might add, wearing grinning half-masks and tuxes. (Does anyone know who the members of this band are?)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any good photos or videos. Because either my new camera really sucks, or I need to spend some quality time with the instruction manual.

Here are two brief videos if you want a taste of what the Claypool show was like.



Matisyahu “co-headlined” and played first. This was reggae with sidelocks rather than dreadlocks. And rapping. And beatboxing. Marley reincarnated with a prayer shawl. And a young (like under 17), well-scrubbed white crowd.

Beautiful music for the most part, sort of dub jam. Some of it very pop reggae sounding, like the anthem “One Day.”  I, of course, am no judge of rapping, but the guy seemed pretty talented in this department as well.


When I’m old(er) and gray(er), and can’t drive myself anymore, these boys are going to have to cart me to the 50th anniversary of the B-52s or something.


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