It might have taken them 30 years but iconic psych rockers, The Flaming Lips, finally landed in our region recently with their entourage of furry animals, confetti, beach balls, giant hands and lasers. If eyes could eat, we’d be dead of gluttony by now.
The show started around 8pm with Danish indie darlings, The Raveonettes, opening with a rather lackluster set. It was dark and moody and totally suited to their style but in contrast to The Lips’ bright lights and upbeat love. Still, a great bonus considering they raved on for an hour before The Lips. And of course, the indie goth kids were elated.
The Flaming Lips came on with a bang! Their stage-entrance was like a scene from some sci-fi movie. Dancers (who were chosen from the audience by the band earlier) flocked both sides of the stage. Then The Lips made their way onstage, through the freaking LED backdrop! Frontman Wayne Coyne did his trademark human-hamster ball intro and literally rolled over the crowd.
Before long, the whole hall burst into a collage of beautiful lights and tonnes of confetti were shot up into the air followed by humongous beach balls. It was everything that you saw on Youtube when you searched for The Flaming Lips, except live and in-person, it was just amazing…
The first crowd-rouser of the night was their initial ’90s alt rock hit, ‘She Don’t Use Jelly’, which made everyone sing along in sweet reminiscence as the background screen played the music vid. A couple of numbers later, Wayne did an acoustic laid back version of ‘Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Pt. 1’.
Soon, a bear came roaring onstage and carry Wayne on its shoulders. The main Lip-man then proceeded to shout frantically into the microphone while the rest of the band sustained a noisy-jam in an acid freakout.
The lunacy continued with Wayne’s ‘giant hands’ which now had the capability of absorbing then shooting out lasers into the audience – a new upgrade to those ‘hands’ if you’ve been following their live shows. It was clear that the Lips, although enjoying themselves, are a tight ensemble. Each member had his role nailed down to create this perfect combination – from Kliph Scurlock’s dynamic pounding drums to skeleton-man Michael Ivins’ steady basslines to Steven Drozd’s virtuoso guitar and keyboard playing and high-pitched backup vocals, and of course charismatic Wayne’s connection with the crowd.
After twee ‘The Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Song’ which was another highlight of the show, the Lips came back for an encore and did an extended version of ‘Do You Realize??’. Wayne kept on rubbing his head and urging the audience to go louder, “Come on you guys!” he appealed and the crowd gave their best.
After the show, all Lip members came to meet the crowd and Wayne stayed to the very end and greeted his fans with the excitement of a someone who looked like he had just played his first big concert. No jaded rockstars here.
The Flaming Lips and their fans make it a beautiful world indeed. If only it was like this everyday… If only we’d realized…
Image Dominic Phua