The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Posted by Matt on September 27, 2010

Because I don’t feel like doing another write-up, here’s a review I wrote for the newspaper about the Flaming Lips concert I went to last week:

Oklahoma-based psychadelic rockers the Flaming Lips are famous for putting on a one-of-a-kind concert, and I can report with confidence that this is the case. It is DEFINITELY the case.

The opening act at their Winnipeg concert, Haunted Graffiti, were able to set the mood pretty early on. Although they are certainly a more straightforward rock band than the Lips, their use of keyboards and harder sound created a similar vibe, as did its strange frontman, who was entertaining in spite of the fact that I couldn’t understand a thing he said.
The Flaming Lips themselves started strong and never let up during their dozen-or-so song set, which pulled primarily from their three 2000s albums, but also included a classic from the 90s, She Don’t Use Jelly. Everyone was on game, and not even short technical difficulties hurt the intensity the band put into every song, nor ecstatic mood of the audience. Frontman Wayne Coyne kept the place jumping by spending a moment between songs to talk to the audience and encourage everyone to join in.

As for the show itself… it is probably the most visually entertaining thing I’ve ever seen on stage. Every song brought in new, weird effects; confetti gushed down at any given moment; there were women in yellow shirts and hats dancing on the sidelines for the entire show; large balloons were bounced around in the audience for a whole hour; and the band members interacted with the visuals displayed on the giant circular screen. Coyne himself went out of his way to entertain, first by jumping into the floor audience in a giant bubble, and following it up throughout the show by, for example, sitting on the shoulders of a man in a bear costume, or using giant hands to reflect laser lights onto two disco balls. Of course, words can’t really do the show justice: you really need to see it to get how crazy and awesome it was, and to know the feeling of how entertaining it was just to anticipate what could happen next.

So, as one can tell, the Lips show is everything you’ve heard it was, and probably more. And it’s not just for the sheer sense overload provided by what’s going on stage, either; there’s a genuine love of the music there. Coyne repeatedly talked about how much happiness he finds among the band’s fans, and it’s easy to see where he’s coming from when you see a large group of people singing along to Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots and Do You Realize??

Here’s some videos from it:

I also saw the Arcade Fire last week. It was also a good concert.

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