All photos courtesy Joe Stadele Photography. All rights reserved.
Over the last 4 years, the Twin Cities has been blessed with appearances from the Flaming Lips; including the Wayne-promised trio of performances at First Avenue and the festival topping performance at 2016’s Rock the Garden. For 2017, the band have reinvented their sound (per se) with the addictive dreamland that is Oczy Mlody; an album that blossoms with each listen and one of the best of their career. [Personally, it is also one of the best albums of the year.] Sunday night, The Flaming Lips demonstrated their mastery of diversion as they pulled out all of the stops at the Myth in Maplewood.
To the tune of Alex North’s “2001: A Space Odyssey Theme,” Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd, Mike Ivins and crew took the stage and proceeded to shower the crow in confetti for “Race for the Prize.” As the song continued to build, the house went dark and like the magician he is, Coyne surprised the audience mid-crowd as he took on an inflated pink robot for the fan-favorite “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Part 1.” However, the magician had more tricks up his sleeve. For a few minutes, the crowd looked around in confusion as the band performed the into beats to “There Should Be Unicorns.” In unison, the crowd exclaimed “WAYNE!!” as the lead-man broke into the open lyrics atop a unicorn. Draped in rope lights and dawning a set of angel wings, Coyne road the unicorn around the perimeter of the Myth through the song. And yet – the band was only warming up. As if they were channeling Pink Floyd’s classic Live at Pompeii performance, a gong appeared on stage as the band went in to a stellar performance of “Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung” — which Drozd dedicated to Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü. And yet, the band still was not done. From gongs and lasers to the hamster ball, light graphics, confetti and inflated rainbows, the one elements that continues to top all of their performances is the display of gratitude they share toward their fan base.
Really, what’s left to be said can only be experienced in concert. Until next time….whether you’re any fan or curious, make a point to check out The Flaming Lips on their current There Should Be Unicorns Tour 2017.
Race for the Prize
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1
There Should Be Unicorns
Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung
The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (With All Your Power)
Space Oddity (David Bowie cover)
Are You a Hypnotist??
A Spoonful Weighs a Ton
She Don’t Use Jelly
Do You Realize??