Despite (very public) drama with local bands being denied an opening slot, a last-minute altered schedule, and easily the worst torrential downpour Buffalo, NY has seen all year, The Claypool Lennon Delirium ended the Canal side Concert Series in a mash-up of psychedelic-pop infused, slap-bass perfection.
We'll address the story behind the opening bands' experience of opening, not opening…oh wait, just kidding – opening for the collaboration between Primus front man Less Claypool and rock royalty Sean Lennon's The Claypool Lennon Delirium below. But for now: A quick recap of their Thursday performance.
For anyone familiar with either front man, specifically those who gave their album "Monolith of Phobos" a spin, the show was exactly what you might expect. For those unfamiliar, you likely left asking yourself, "What did I just watch?" The amount of top hats and rocky horror-esque stage costumes on stage may have scared off newcomers to the scene, but were completely expected by fans of both Lennon and Claypool.
Hiding under a sea captain hat, Sean Lennon fronted the duo's group with humble ease. Les Claypool took a slightly less prominent role onstage than he typically takes with Primus, but was still as entertaining as ever.
Opening with the multi-part "Cricket & the Genie," The Delirium set the tone for the night, flashing trippy guitar work, precise boppy-bass work, and incredibly hook-ey choruses. Other performances included "Boomerang Baby," "Bubbles Burst." and "Mr. Wright," along with the majority of their debut album.
Lennon began the encore with "Tomorrow Never Knows," an unexpected track from the experimental "Revolver" album. Claypool took his turn, busting into Primus' "Southbound Pachyderm" leaving Primus fans satisfied, closing out the Canalside Summer Series out with two high-energy covers, paying tribute to the roots of both front men.
Earlier in the night, Claypool addressed the day-of-drama that exploded on social media just hours before gates opened. Both winners of the Canalside Public Battle of the Bands – Kickstart Rumble and Randle and the Late Night Scandals – received day-of-notice that their previous victories we all-for-naught, as the contracts with the headlining act denied both bands the chance to perform. Details at this moment are unclear, however, what is known is that both bands were notified that they were to not appear onstage for the Thursday show with less than 24 hours-notice. Social media followers of both bands, as well as followers of the headliners, were quite vocal about their disapproval of the way in which the situation was handled.
Les Claypool spoke while the band played softly beneath him, graciously stating that he arrived in town to the news that Buffalonians were furious at him and Lennon over the situation. He explained that the matter was handled purely by management, and that he and Lennon had "nothing but love" for local bands, and that they stepped in to ensure both bands could perform. Earlier reports even state that The Delirium agreed to take a later time slot in order to allow the Buffalo-based band to perform as originally promised. While the speech could be seen as damage control, Claypool's words came through as genuine and heartfelt, and were received with an explosion of applause.
The Claypool Lennon Delirium's "Monolith of Phobos" was released on June 3, 2016, and reached number 84 on the US Billboard 200 Chart.
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