Friday, February 22, 2019

The Flaming Lips Close Pitchfork With a Bang

Posted by teibs On July - 21 - 2009

flaminglipspitchfork @andlaurasays I waited a long time for this. Too long, in fact. After my first Flaming Lips fiasco at Lollapalooza 2006 in which I spent the entire show frantically searching for a friend instead of actually watching the show, I was determined that this time around it was going to be different. This time I was hell bent on rocking out and maybe even getting on stage. If I could do it for Girl Talk, isn’t The Flaming Lips the next level up? A girl can only dream. The place was packed.

You can always feel the excitement in the air when the main headliner, the crème de la crème of the festival, is about to go on. There’s an exhausted restlessness brewing in the crowd. The feeling like, “Yeah, I want this to go out with a bang.” In this case, a bizarre interstellar psychedelic confetti, balloons, and dancing frogs kind of bang.

The Flaming Lips spare no expense in making sure their fans are entertained with some spectacle, like Wayne Coyne’s wife dancing around, stark naked and glowing rainbow on a gigantic screen and the band being birthed out of her “vagina” when they enter the stage. Mr. Coyne himself has the best entrance of all, with his signature walking on top of the crowd in a gigantic plastic bubble. Unfortunately I was nowhere near Wayne’s ball, but it was still pretty cool from afar.

They began the set with a one of their more well-known songs and an opening staple for every show I’ve ever heard them play, “Race For the Prize,” which I will admit is a great song to get pumped to. What I expected from an all-request set concept though was that there were bound to be a few hits, but that the diehard Lips fans would be heard and they’d play more older tracks and/or covers. I was praying for them to play Bohemian Rhapsody, like they did for that Queen tribute. No such luck.

As the Lips kept trucking through their list of requests and mini rants by Wayne about how “fucking cool” Pitchfork is and how awesome the food was, the more I realized that the whole “Write the Night” idea didn’t really work within the technicalities of an event such as P4K.

The majority of the people who see the Flaming Lips, or any band for that matter, at a festival aren’t going to know of obscure songs they made back in their early days. They’re going to know hits from Yoshimi and At War With the Mystics and they will request as such. It was a tiny bit disappointing, although they did play one real oldie entitled “Bad Days” from the Batman Forever soundtrack. That one was really unexpected, even for most Lips fans.

Nonetheless, I rocked out. I was dancing and singing and having a ball of a time with Hodge, a Pitchfork first-timer and my partner in crime for the day. Coyne and Co. slowed it down occasionally for some very pretty versions of “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1” and “Fight Test” while picking it back up for “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song” and “She Don’t Use Jelly” and playing a couple newbies from their new LP, Embryonic due out in September, all culminating in the finale and number one requested song (and no shocker) “Do You Realize??” It was a wonderful end to a wonderful weekend. It’s hard to make the good things last. 9.4/10

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