CONCERT REVIEW: The Flaming Lips + Tame Impala

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By: Andrew Rodriguez

Whoever said Rock was dead surely did not bare in mind the power the Flaming Lips has had over the past couple of decades, and on October 3, 2013 at the Festival Pier, the Flaming Lips brought the psychadelica and mesmerized the crowd with a bright light show and Wayne Coyne’s metaphorical stage props.

Starting the night out was Sean Lennon’s The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, setting the tone for the rest of the night as a mirage of experimental folk succumbed the ever-growing crowd at the Pier. Following the band was Tame Impala, who might as well tour alone, as their set was solid jumping between tracks from their past two albums to their newest album Lonerism. Tame Impala’s fuzzy guitars and woozy dream-rock glazed over the night with their 60’s noise rock.

Finally, at around 10 pm came the main entrée. Wayne Coyne had came on stage before the set had started to properly adjust his surmounting pedestal he stands atop of, triggering a massive roar of incredible applause. It made us in the front jump a little, as the crowd had grown exponentially since the gates opened. The elaborate décor of the stage left the audience at their knees from the very beginning of the set, as the band began with a Doppler screen in the background that had echoed in wavelengths whatever multi-instrumentalist played. And the flashy costumes and makeup added to the ambience of space-age experimental rock the Flaming Lips has always been known for. Adding elements such as canons of confetti and Coyne’s baby fetus and light chords reminiscent to that of umbilical chords further fed the illustrious grandeur of the spectacle that is their performance art.

But what was so cool about the night is how incredibly happy Coyne was to be back at the Pier and Philadelphia. Throughout the night he kept warning the audience he envisioned a car jumping off a nearby bridge from being distracted of all the ruckus and light show their stage had emanated. But in the end, the ill-fated driver of the hypothetical situation somehow became mutually justified among the waves of people that had attended the concert. The Flaming Lips are no strangers to life performances, and their professionalism intertwined with a laid back mission of creating art demanded that everyone pay attention to every blessed detail on stage and how it ties into their DIY sound, and everyone graciously heeded their attention to them. The Flaming Lips is and always will be a force to be reckoned with, and after 30 years and 13 albums and multiple ep’s later, there is no slowing down of this tsunami of sound. The Flaming Lips’ current album The Terror is now available for purchase on iTunes.

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