Most bands end their shows with streamers, balloons falling from the ceiling and crowd surfing. Not the Flaming Lips—the band does all of that and more within its first song. Each member of the band entered through an opening in a wall of LED lights and images, except for Coyne, who came out in his signature space ball and rolled around with the audience, attempting to, despite his plastic confines, touch every single person’s hand.
As soon as he returned to the stage, the band blew four rounds of confetti into the audience and sent out dozens of balloons ranging between four and 15 feet in circumference. After a few moments, girls dressed as Dorothy and boys dressed as the other Wizard Of Oz characters came on stage and began rocking (and continued to do so until the show ended). For a while, a king butterfly and a suited-up catfish also joined the dancing on stage. After the first song, the audience was at such a high that it seemed impossible for anyone to top the previous song’s spectacle.
Of course a sing-along to “She Don’t Use Jelly” was all the Flaming Lips needed. The band’s music is a spectacle in and of itself, and with the crowd rowdy and raring to go, everyone was screaming each lyric with the joy of a kindergartner singing “Twinkle Twinkle.” There were also other moments of visual wonder as the show went on: Coyne brought out his infamous giant hands and shot lasers out of them at a disco ball, bathing the audience in waves of color; a gong surrounded by LED lights blinked every time he hit it; and during the band’s first encore a bear came out and carried Coyne on his shoulders. Not to mention the feast for the eyes that the audience was. People dressed as penguins, sheep, Native Americans and French fry packages all wearing rave gear, face paint and sporting bubbles added to the magic of the evening.
Were you at this show? Win a CMJ badge by posting your photos and review at SuperGlued.
More photos by Annie Lesser below.