The Flaming Lips take over The Greek
Last night I saw one of the most mind-streaking, surreal and epic shows of the year as The Flaming Lips descended into Berkeley. Singer Wayne Coyne actually told the audience to explain to their friends how he had descended from the sky in a giant plastic bubble and surfed the crowd (he did actually crowd surf in his John-Travolta boy-in-the-plastic-bubble imitation). The entire show was an overload of visuals and sounds...from the sexy female aliens on the left side of the stage, to the manly Santa Clauses on the other side, to the road crew dressed as the Superfriends, to all the confetti canons and smoke lasers....it was all there. Musically, they keep getting closer and closer to that organic live sound the Lips were always known for. They did not dig deep into the repetoir, staying close to the last few records. They did "SHE DON'T USE JELLY" from the amazing Transmissions From The Satellite Heart as well as "Spoonful Weighs A Ton" and "Race For The Prize" from the classic Soft Bulletin while Wayne had the crowd singing along to the "YEAH YEAH YEAH" song and Yoshimi. Hats off to Steven Drozd, former live Lips drummer, now playing everything else as well. His guitar riffs during the instrumental songs, as well as some of the more known album tracks, was nothing short of unexpected and awesome. When did he develop into a guitar god?
At War With The Mystics is a great record, and I have to say that live..I might have even liked it better. A cohesive, well thought out, fantasy trip of epic proportions.
They are taping their Hollywood Bowl show for a DVD...maybe this was a warm up to it (and would explain how over-the-top the visuals really were).