Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Flaming Lips - Psychedelic Spectacular

Last night I travelled to Poughkeepsie - our estranged neighbors of the north - to catch The Flaming Lips on their tour. This under-the-radar show had an eclectic crowd ranging from Vassar students to old-school fans of the '80s, a mix that represents the band's transformation over the past 27 years. Yet one thing was a constant: frontman Wayne Coyne was determined to lead us through his psychedelic psyche.

The performance started with a massive projection of a naked woman giving birth to the band [via a door centered in the middle of her legs] with the exception of Coyne, who rolled out in a human-sized hamster ball and bounced around on top of the crowd. This was followed by over-sized balloons filled with confetti, a bevy of Vassar students dressed in the Yo Gaba Gaba costumes dancing on the sides, and ginormous blow-ups of monsters waving in the background. To say they were energetic is an understatement. They were in a different ether.

The set had a good range of the old and the new, including one of my favorites from the early 90's, "She Don't Use Jelly." Before playing "In the Morning of the Magicians," Coyne asked "what is love really?" He said that he was not sure what it is when you receive love, but he knows what it's like to give love, and he was "giving all of my love to you." The band raged on for an hour and half, pulling out even more crazy contraptions like 3-foot hands shooting out green lasers.

The encore ended just as strong as they started. Opening band Stardeath and White Dwarfs joined to play the last song off The Dark Side of the Moon, a collaboration of theirs that was released in limited edition yesterday. The Flaming Lips finished with "Do You Realize" and Coyne shouting "I know you do!" A little contrived, but nonetheless trippy and explosive.
Purchase the Dark Side of the Moon soundtrack on
iTunes or pre-order on Amazon.

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