@JordanLipshutz Little 500 2010 kicked off Thursday night with the Flaming Lips playing to a sold out crowd at IU Auditorium. Despite being confined to a small auditorium, the Lips brought all of their toys out to play. The band took the stage one by one, emerging from a giant strobe-lit vagina. Then lead singer, Wayne Coyne, appeared in his infamous transparent “space bubble” despite being advised not to by IU Auditorium staff. Wayne only walked to the edge of the stage in the space bubble, because the auditorium staff feared the crowd would not be able to support him. The crowd was less than thrilled at this, but still swelling with energy as the Lips launched into “Worm Mountain,” a song they recorded with MGMT on their latest album.
I must say I was pretty underwhelmed, as they continued into their set. Their production was spectacular but the performance, not so much. The constant confetti, balloons, free laser pointers, strobe lights, trippy visuals on giant LCD screens and the group of dancers on stage dressed as DJ Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba were the only things that got this show the rating I gave it. The setlist was poor, featuring several songs from the bands latest album. The songs are pretty good on recording, but don’t translate well to live experience I’ve had hyped up to me that is The Flaming Lips. Many of these songs were slow, psychedelic soundscapes that simply didn’t keep the crowd interested. The most devastating part was that “She Don’t Use Jelly” and “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots”, two of the bands most popular and engaging songs, were performed solo by Wayne. This was a huge let down. The only songs that really got the crowd going were “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song”, “The W.A.N.D.” and the “Do You Realize??” encore.
I got a chance to catch up and chat with Wayne after the show. I asked how they were feeling about their upcoming summer tour. Wayne said that he was mostly thinking about today’s show and the show they’re playing tomorrow in Kansas City with the Dead Weather. He said that he doesn’t like to think about the future too much. In their encore the Lips played “Brain Damage/Eclipse” off Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. A few months ago, The Flaming Lips recorded their take on the classic album with Stardeath & White Dwarfs and Henry Rollins. I asked Wayne why they chose this album.
“I think it was out of dumb luck. [iTunes] wanted to do seven exclusive tracks right as Embryonic was coming out. We didn’t really have any extra tunes. We recorded this double album real fast and just wanted to be done with it. I sort of just said it in a panic why don’t we do Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon? I knew it was short, I liked the songs, I knew there were some instrumentals in there.”
I asked if there was any album he would like to do next. Wayne said, “If we ever do a cover again I’d like to do Black Sabbath’s first album”. The Flaming Lips already have a thunderous cover of “War Pigs” in their repertoire so Black Sabbath’s debut album would be very fitting.
Little 500 rolls on tonight with Snoop Dogg, Jeremih and Sam Adams playing for an intimate but surely wild crowd tonight at ZBT/Sammy’s parking lot. Stay tuned for updates on this one of a kind performance. Speaker City isn’t sponsoring the event, but make sure to bring your green hat!