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Old 01-03-2008, 07:02 PM   #1
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Flaming Lips Get Ready to Totally Freak Out!

<img src="http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee136/anuransol/wayne-sml.jpg" alt="" />

<strong>By Cassie Traun, Words and Images
2008.01</strong>

The Flaming Lips are renowned for putting on what is not only a concert, but a spectacle?an event not to be missed. Though all Lips shows are amazing, it was well-known that the New Year?s Eve concert in their hometown of Oklahoma City was going to be something special, and the band without a doubt delivered on the crowd?s expectations.<!--more-->

Also from Oklahoma City, Dennis Coyne? nephew of Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne?opened the night?s festivities as lead singer of Stardeath and White Dwarfs. Combining heavy, experimental, prog-influenced instrumental breaks with electronic blips and Dennis Coyne?s sparse, scratchy vocals, Stardeath and White Dwarfs produce a sound that I can only imagine would be heard on some long lost planet out there in the galaxy.

This being what is known in Flaming Lips fan circles as a ?UFO show,? the show started with the band members descending from a massive spaceship made by Wayne Coyne in his backyard. After three of the four came out of the towering metal disc, Coyne revealed himself on top of the UFO, encased in his now famous bubble that acts much like a hamster ball as he crowd surfs over the audience once brought down from the spacecraft by crew members dressed as superheroes.

<img src="http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee136/anuransol/lips1.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

?Race for the Prize??a song that seems to be meant to open concerts with its unbridled energy, enthusiasm, and optimism?began the set with blinding lights and a sea of balloons and confetti enveloping the crowd. Next up came a cover of Queen?s ?Bohemian Rhapsody,? done by staying true to the song?s epic nature and encouraging the audience to sing along by putting the lyrics up on the video screen behind the band.

For one couple, this would be an especially unforgettable night. Following a hard-rocking performance of ?Free Radicals? complete with Coyne jumping in the air doing the splits and Steven Drozd?s crunchy guitar riffs, a Santa dancer from one side of the stage and his girlfriend, one of the alien dancers from the other side, were brought to the middle. In what Coyne said was inspired by ?all the optimism in the room and all the love that?s in the room,? the Santa got down on one knee and proposed to his alien girlfriend. (She said yes.)

<img src="http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee136/anuransol/lips2.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

From there, the night only got better. Beginning the middle of the set was ?Fight Test? and the noisy guitar rock of ?Mountain Side.? Then, ?Vein of Stars? included one of the most simple yet unbelievably visually stunning displays ever seen with laser pointers: the audience shots laser beams at Coyne who held a mirror, and because the arena was filled with smoke from a fog machine, each individual beam was visible, and the number of beams doubled because of the mirror.

The crowd blew the band away with the sing-along version of ?Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1,? and Coyne noted, ?that could be the biggest sing-along we?ve ever had on that song.? Guitarist and multi-instrumental extraordinaire Steven Drozd took over vocals for ?Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung,? a racing song about a couple committing suicide by jumping into the flames of Pompeii. Wayne Coyne got in his Bush-bashing, conducting the always cynical and sarcastic ?The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song,? leading into ?Taps? and ?Waitin? for a Superman,? which became a memorial to fallen soldiers.

<img src="http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee136/anuransol/lips3.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

The show picked up again in the homestretch with ?The W.A.N.D.? (heard unknowingly by many in a Dell commercial). Their one and only true radio hit ?She Don?t Use Jelly? followed, and then it was time for the countdown to begin (at 11:30, due to a fireworks show starting at midnight). During the countdown, the band played ?The Process,? an instrumental B-side to ?She Don?t Use Jelly? that has not been heard in over a decade, and the 5,000 balloons placed in the seats behind the band came raining down on the crowd, making for a sight worthy of awe and the grins on our faces.

<img src="http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee136/anuransol/lips4.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

?Do You Realize???the band?s crowning achievement reminding everyone to take advantage of each moment in life?closed the show. I cannot think of a better way to end 2007 and bring in 2008.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:34 AM   #2
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:03 PM   #3
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Flaming Lips do Popmart!!!!

Has anyone noticed the similaritiesbetween the current Lips stage show and Popmart? Wayne Coyne descendes out of a UFO while U2 descended out of a giant lemon. During another part of the Lips show there is a projected dancing girl very reminiscent of the Mexican-wrestling-mask-wearing dancer that was shown during the song Lemon in Pomart.
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Old 03-09-2008, 03:13 AM   #4
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The 'mothership' idea came from the same place U2 got the idea - Parliment Funkadelic.

I just got a great DVD today of Flaming Lips called "UFO's at the Zoo" from their 2006 Oklahoma City show; where they first used their 'mothership'.

The Lips are a great fun band. Like U2, they love and respect their fans. And they make some pretty great music too! (Or at least, I think that they do)
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