Dear Editor: I have a question. Who wrote the
Flaming Lips review
you ran Monday, July 22? Everyone at the Lips show freaked out and felt it was one of their best shows ever. I was blown away. I thought all of the theatrics and personal stories and mentions are what made the show so amazing. The band also connected with the audience in a very special way. Usually a less than favorable review wouldn't bother me, but the show was magical and most of that was due to the fact that it was in a small club and it was a last minute performance that was supposed to be more intimate and special (especially since 1800 people showed up the record store appearance the night before). Everyone is entitled to their opinion I was just surprised because it was such an incredible experience for myself as well as the many people I know went. I searched out the least-biased account of this excellent show and forwarded it along. Sincerely, Rob Goldklang, Warner Bros.
Amidst an orgy of lights and confetti, the Flaming Lips invited last Wednesday's Knitting Factory crowd to embark on a journey into their heads - into a world of rocketships, hot air balloon rides, sexless nudists, ¸ber-kind superheroes, blood, life, death, love, and the unanswerable mysteries of the universe. The three-piece chose the trek carefully. They purposefully constructed a set list that wouldn't alienate listeners who haven?t completely digested their latest album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots - only a few tracks from the new release were scattered throughout the set. Nonetheless, they were presented with the same grace and strange robotic fluidity as on the album. Wayne Coyne's vocals throughout these songs were obviously less polished, but the sincerity of his crackled crooning did nothing but enhance the heartfelt storytelling style of songs like "Fight Test," "In the Morning of the Magicians," and "Do You Realize?" In many ways, Wayne resembled his character in "All We Have Is Now" - a raconteur from the future, telling of historic battles and universal truths.
Other moments were more than explosive. Clouds Taste Metallic's "Lightning Strikes the Postman" was overstimulating in the best possible way. Wayne's singing, blasted through a megaphone, cut through the song's deafening, near-epic string line. While Steven Drozd beat the drums shitless, a cloud of smoke and strobe lights left the band invisible and the stage chaotic.
The theatrics continued into a chillingly climactic and desperate, yet hilarious version of Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head." Steven provided perfect harmonies while Wayne bellowed with his impassioned trademark "fist in the air." Moments later, Wayne dabbled in puppetry as a monkey sang "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate." The dramatic highlight, however, came earlier in the show when Wayne fittingly poured fake blood over himself during "The Spark That Bled."
The Lips are, unquestionably, expert entertainers. It was not just a night of sonic brilliance and onstage antics, but rather a complete multimedia experience. Throughout the entire show, brilliant video imagery flashed behind them, somehow synching perfectly with each and every song. The frantic slideshows of disco balls, Japanese girlfights, naked women, and spaceships bedazzled the crowd. By the end of the show, the audience was practically levitating from the combination of sights, sounds, and emotions. Who needs drinks at a show like this? The Flaming Lips are a drug in themselves - twenty first century, yet timeless.
The Flaming Lips' shows just seem to leave each concertgoer inspired. It's like an anthology of their greatest and lowest moments. One becomes a part of their personal triumphs and failures, with a brain seeping wonder, sympathy, and amazement. Upon leaving one of their concerts, the universe just seems to make a little more sense. It's almost as if you're drawn to ask Wayne, in the words of their incredible encore, "What is the light that you have shining all around you? Is it chemically derived? 'Cause if it's natural, something glowing from inside, shining all around you - its potential has arrived." - Parker Hutchinson, Flaming Lips fan