Flames Vs. Lips

There’s really only one way to arrive at a Flaming Lips concert, and that is in a giant plastic ball, rolling over the crowd. Most of us had to do with less, but not Wayne Coyle, the center of the entertainment spectacle known as The Flaming Lips, who rolled into Hammerstein Ballroom in the appropriate way. Flanked by legions of dancing aliens and Santas, The Flips proceeded to fill the ballroom with confetti and balloons. You might not be impressed, but this was an awful lot of confetti, and the balloons were really big. I’m pretty sure some people on the floor suffered a slow death by suffocation, a small price to pay for the larger entertainment.

Quantity was king. There were confetti cannons, confetti tanks, and I believe a few confetti IED’s. Of all the devices spewing tiny strips of paper, the best was the handheld confetti bazooka that Coyle would fire off from time to time. The glee the elfish frontman took in his showbiz creation, and the love that he generously applied to his worshiping audience, gave life to this extravaganza.

Haven’t mentioned the music, have I? Seems strange with a band that’s had about thirty critically acclaimed albums in a row that the stage show would eclipse the music (that the flames eclipse the lips, perhaps), but like I said, there was a ton of confetti. Let’s see…the synthesizers didn’t really integrate with the rest of the band, but other than that they did play expertly. One highlight was their pristinely beautiful love/death ballad “Do You Realize?” The big highlight was an extended version of “She Don’t Use Jelly” which climaxed with a giant balloon exploding with a burst of, yes, confetti!

Showbiz!!

–Dan Kilian

Making It Work (Sometimes): Seven Song Playlist Review

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