Concert Review: Flaming Lips at the Great Saltair | Buzz Blog

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Concert Review: Flaming Lips at the Great Saltair

Posted By on September 21, 2011, 10:43 AM

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When the frontman of a band comes out to make a PSA before a concert—remarking that he will soon walk out into the crowd in a giant “space bubble” and also that the band’s strobe lights can be a little intense, so if someone has a freak-out, just hang in there—you know you’re in for a good time.---

Such is the way of Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips. But before the veritable freak flag wavered in the wind, the Mexican garage punk trio La Butcherettes took the stage. Although there were catchy hooks like “Rip my clothes off/ Rip my fucking clothes off,” the highlight of this performance was Teri Gender Bender’s (born Teresa Suaréz) show(wo)manship on stage. At one point, she had her leg splayed over her keyboard and proceeded to air-hump it, which turned into a one legged hop/kick dance move, and then as the song came to a close, she somersaulted and ended with her feet gyrating in the air. Check out their latest, the 2011 release Sin Sin Sin. The band conjured up early era Lips right along with '90s Seattle grunge. They certainly warmed the crowd up.

And what came next was your typical, always tantalizing, Flaming Lips show. Through a door in the LED semi-circle of a backdrop—as the lights created a space-portal effect for the doorway—the band entered one by one to begin playing, except Coyne. When the ramp was removed, there he was, wrapped in plastic, which was quickly filled with air. As the band rocked the intro, Coyne was rolled into the crowd, where simultaneously dozens of balloons, along with mounds of confetti, were dropped. Backed by flashing neon everywhere and strobe lights too numerous to count, this was one hell of an intro.

Throughout the evening, the Lips oscillated between sing-alongs and experimental space jams filled with a seemingly endless array of props. The first widely popular songs came in as “She Don’t Use Jelly” and “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song.” In between each, and throughout the night, Coyne tried to cajole a mesmerized crowd into cheering by repeatedly saying, “Come on, come on, come on, motherfuckers.”

“See the Leaves” followed, and it was the first time that Coyne’s face was projected on the LED screen via a camera on his mic. After more than two decades of rock ‘n’ roll, he and the band still look pretty solid. That song ended with a transcendental jam and with Coyne wearing giant-sized foam hands fit with multicolored lasers projected from the palms. He danced the light off of the gigantic disco ball over the stage and onto the crowd. Around this time in the concert, there were people literally passing out from the intensity of the show.

After, the crowd was roused back to life to sing “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.” This song, and several others, were interrupted when crowd-surfing audience members in animal costumes landed on stage and hugged Coyne. Showman that he is, Coyne took it all in stride. More balloons dropped, more confetti was launched,and so on and so forth. As the show wound down, Coyne thanked the crowd for being “their crowd” and said that no other band has a following like the Fearless Freaks from Oklahoma do. He said, “We throw out a bunch of balloons and you guys treat them like they’re space orbs, and we shoot out confetti and you guys think it’s space dust shot out of a dragon’s butt. Thank you.”

The show ended with Coyne saying that some people in the audience might have come to the Great Saltair with some sadness, and collectively the crowd helped changed that. Everyone wins. The encore was “Do You Realize,” where Coyne and the crowd sang the chorus in a cacophony as multicolored as the Flaming Lips light show: “And instead of just saying all of your goodbyes ... "let them know/ You realize that life goes fast/ It's hard to make the good things last/ You realize the sun doesn't go down/ It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round.”

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