Republished from The Maneater
“I’m sorry for not being here for 10 years,” Flaming Lips front man Wayne Coyne confessed moments prior to the band’s Sept. 18 performance outside The Blue Note. “This will not make up for it. But we will fucking try!”
It looked doubtful the Lips would get their shot at CoMo redemption, though, as a storm seemed to be fast approaching. But Coyne noted that, while the band would have to stop if it started pouring, the members would not let the weather dampen their spirit.
“You make your own fucking happiness,” Coyne yelled. “Let’s make it!”
The Lips’ idea of making happiness consisted of the group being birthed onstage via psychedelic vagina and Coyne rolling down Ninth Street in his human hamster wheel. Apparently, this was enough to frighten the storm, as it waited until minutes after the show to unleash its wrath.
In its place emerged the Lips’ own man-made storm. An endless downpour of balloons, confetti and lights soaked the crowd as a few fuzz-drenched tracks from 2009’s Embryonic kicked off the show, followed by an old favorite, “She Don’t Use Jelly.”
At this point, the concert seemed to split into three acts. First was a short acoustic-driven set, peaking with a stripped rendition of “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1” that had the crowd mesmerized. Next was a lengthier stretch of heavy headbangers that made it pretty clear why the air started smelling so sweet. Then came “The W.A.N.D.,” which Coyne belted through a megaphone while donning the strobe-light equivalent of Flavor Flav’s clock.
The crowd erupted at this At War With the Mystics favorite and begged for two encores — “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song,” an anti-Bush pop gem that partied as hard as the topless Viking lady hanging out of a neighboring window, and “Do You Realize??,” a hysteric outpouring of Flaming Lips reverence.
This concert was a clear example of why the band has accumulated such a massive following over the past 27 years — The Flaming Lips put on one heck of a show. Props and stage dancers manufactured a raucously festive atmosphere, while the tunes sent good vibrations through the sell-out crowd, quite often literally. One thing’s for sure: She might not use jelly, but the Lips sure know how to jam.