Sunday, October 24, 2010

Upwards To The Vanguard

The FLAMING LIPS have been heralded as one of the essential bands to see live before you die.  Last weekend in St. Augustine, they defended that banner and then some.  Click the Jump for some photos from the show.

I had been a casual Lips fan for some time - the art in the title of this blog is actually borrowed from their album "At War With The Mystics"- but experiencing them live propelled them into the upper echelon of my usually concrete list of favorite bands.  I choose the word "experience" because the band's live show is just that - a psychedelic-face-melting-freak-fest.  My prescription for the experience = a pint or so of whiskey, a jumbo Red Bull, and tickets four rows back from this:

The Flaming Lips experience began with all four Lips (?) being birthed from a giant, glowing, digital vagina (I'll never forgive myself for not taking video of this. I was . . .  transfixed . . .)   Front man Wayne Coyne then proceeded to step inside an over-sized inflatable "Space Bubble" and surf the crowd.

Here's a video of Wayne running over my camera with his "Space Bubble":

Throughout the performance, the band unveils a myriad of props/effects.  Lesser bands wouldn't have the energy/creativity to use these gimmicks without coming across as corny or forced, but the Lips make it work.  Below are some fun pics. I snapped of the props/effects/gimmicks/awesomeness:

A Microphone-Mounted Camera:

a Megaphone:


Balloons, Streamers, Smoke and Confetti:

Wild Bears/Background Dancers:

and Giant Foam Hands . . .

That shoot Freaking Laser Beams

When you put it all together, it looks something like this:

I'll wrap by saying I'm thrilled I was able to see such a fun band as they near the peak of their popularity.  If they show up on next year's festival circuit, you can bet I'll be front row center waiving the W.A.N.D.

Props to Rick and Lizzy for taking some of the above photos.

Until next time.