David Krell

The Flaming Lips

By David Krell

Balloons, confetti, and people dressed in animal costumes. Constant joy, heartfelt speeches, and glowing recommendations for the future. Another 10 year old's birthday party? Not quite.

It's the final show on the Flaming Lips most recent tour, yet it seemed as exciting and new as a bands very first gig.

The "Lips" started their psychedelic escapades back in 1983, and for the past 20 years have nearly perfected their purpose, which is to make their fans have as much fun as they're having.

"We'e all come here tonight to get away from some kind of trauma. Hopefully, we can help," says Wayne Coyne, singer/songwriter of the Flaming Lips.

If the youth-filled antics don't make you giddy enough, then maybe the overstated joy and consistent smile of every band member might bring about some sort of reaction.

Let me tell you, there is no way of avoiding it.

From the very first note of "Race for the Prize" to the last echo of "What is the Light," you're either on the brink of tears or under the influence of divine intervention.

The cracking of Wayne's ubiquitous voice only adds to the goose bumps that were already present, while the drummer dressed in a bunny costume can only make your grin larger than it already was.
As childish as they may be, the Flaming Lips are anything but simple.

Only on headphones can one actually break down everything that is going on.

Multiple keyboards, both an electronic and acoustic guitar, vocal harmonies, handclaps, orchestrated symphonies that would be pretty enough by themselves, bass, drums, and sometimes even a gong, meander throughout every catchy song. Don't worry; the perfect mess turns into the perfect song very quickly.

Actually, the only mess that occurs is the one on Wayne's pink button-down shirt and tan suit.

During an a capella segment at the end of "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots," in which Wayne sings using a nun hand puppet, he pours fake blood all over himself. Gross? Yes. Unnecessary? Maybe. But an overwhelming smile that looks like a trustworthy Cheshire cat, makes it just another part of an already Disney-like production.

In a world torn between simple indie-rock bands that take themselves too seriously and J-Lo songs that every poor rapper wants to be a part of, it's good to see a band that just wants to have fun; no matter how childish they may appear to be.


Photos by David Krell.


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