Back You are here: Home Reviews The Flaming Lips – Thebarton Theatre – 16/11/11 Nick Harris

The Flaming Lips – Thebarton Theatre – 16/11/11 Nick Harris

Huge balloons and confetti canons, metre-long party poppers and dancing schoolgirls, a crowd-surfing bubble and hands that shoot lasers, a great mirror ball and a giant woman giving birth to the band. All just a normal day in Flaming Lips land.

flamminglips

The night started with Perth group Pond, whose frontman Paisley Adams has more moves like Jagger than Adam Levine. If you’re looking for some local, retro-future, 60’s revivalist, psychedelic pop-rock, then Pond may be just what you’re after. Or if you like Tame Impala, as the two bands share a few members. Their performance was enjoyable and interesting enough, but it was hard not to be distracted by Wayne and the other Lips who were clearly visible from the wings.

Wayne came out shortly after Pond to welcome us all to the show and provide a brief warning about the lighting and effects. He advised that if at any point we were affected by the strobe lights, not to leave the show but simply ‘don’t look at them.’ Apparently it works very well.

The opening ten minutes was just chaotic. The screen at the back of the stage played images of a naked woman dancing (purportedly Wayne Coyne’s wife) and then lying back to reveal a shinning light from underneath. As the screen zooms in on the light coming from her ladyparts the band emerges from a door in the screen as if the woman is giving birth to them. They walk down a platform underneath which we can see Wayne crouching in his man-sized bubble as it slowly inflates. Wayne then rolled out onto the audience as confetti was blasting into the air from canons around the stage and giant balloons were released. Then about a two-dozen young girls dressed in matching Japanese school-girl outfits, who all appeared to be very lucky audience members, came out on each side of the stage. They danced and remained there the entire show. It was hard to know where to look. It was disorienting, trippy, strange and an absolute ball.

The show opened with ‘Worm Mountain’ from the latest album, Embryonic. There was a fair bit of new material played during the set, which was good to hear. Embryonic was the most experimental the Lips had been since Zaireeka and seeing them take these songs on live was fascinating. Of course, ‘She Don’t Use Jelly’ and Yoshimi came out too. Yoshimi was slowed down a little and much more acoustic, which was a nice touch. Another nice touch is the bands obvious partiality to the female form. Plenty of sexual imagery… and pictures of naked ladies present at the show. No complaints here.

The first encore was a cover of ‘Brain Damage’ by Pink Floyd. For those who don’t know, the Lips released a cover version of the seminal Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety at the end of 2009. I was hoping for the Lips to do a cover and I wasn’t disappointed. The second encore was ‘Do You Realize?’ another great Lips song performed beautifully. My only gripe with the performance was that it felt it was over all too quickly. I later found out that the band was one for about 90 minutes, which is a fair effort.

In the end, I can’t say that I’ve ever had so much fun at a gig before. The sheer ecstasy and joy is unlike anything I’ve experienced at a live show. There’s a reason they’re on the list of bands to see before you die. The Flaming Lips just have fun, pure and simple.

Nick Harris - AAA Backstage

Our Community

  • Facebook
  • instagram
  • Twitter
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Google+

Contact Us

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.