August 27, 2009
If ever you need a reminder of the life-affirming power of a great concert, go see The Flaming Lips. If you know anything about Oklahoma psych-pop legends, you know they put on one of the most crazy, visually spectacular, musically overwhelming live shows of any band out there. This performance was particularly exciting because the band was playing as a part of Pitchfork’s “Write The Night”, where the fans chose the setlist. Wayne Conyne made it pretty clear from the get-go though, that the setlist votes wer basically the same list of songs they play every night anyway (heavy on classics, Yoshimi songs). The band did deviate quite a bit from the list playing by some obscure tracks like “Enthusiasm for Life Defeats Internal Existential Fear” and playing a few songs from their upcoming album, Embryonic.
The visual aspect of the show was just as I remembered it, absolutely spectacular, whether it was Coyne surfing over the crowd inside his giant space bubble hamster ball during “Race For The Prize”, the two huge cannons that shot TONS of confetti into the crowd, or the dozens of oversized balloons that were projected from the stage and bounced around during the set’s entirety. The visual extravanganza is an absolute joy to watch and the band provides the perfect soundtrack to go along with the fantastic visuals. I think many fans (including myself) would have loved to hear more from The Soft Bulletin and anything from Clouds Taste Metallic, but it’s hard to argue with amazing songs like “Fight Test”, “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Pt. 1″, and “She Don’t Use Jelly”.
The setlist ended with the number one requested song (and recently named “official rock song of Oklahoma“), “Do You Realize”. Predictable as the selection was, the song really is one of the most beautiful anthems of our generation and I couldn’t imagine any other song ending the night. You can not deny the awesomeness of thousands of people singing along to the song’s euphoric, optimistic lyrics. Being in that moment is one of the best experiences I’ve had at a concert and it closed out the entire festival on the highest note possible. I could spend hours describing the overwhelming, jubilant experience of a Flaming Lips show, but nothing compares to actually witnessing it. If you ever get the chance, see the band live, I can guarantee that you’ll never forget it.
Follow the jump for more Flaming Lips pictures. Click here to see the full set.