Inflatable rainbows, life-size unicorns, furry outfits, inflatable creatures, giant disco balls and more confetti than a ticker tape parade. It’s not a psychedelic hallucination, but entering the musical world of Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips is pretty darn close. The famous experimental rock group brought their dream-like party to New York’s Terminal 5 on Thursday night, and proved once again that the magical nonsense of music should not be so easily pushed aside in these troubling times.
The group is currently on tour in support of their 14th studio album, Oczy Mlody, and at the young age of 56 singer Wayne Coyne can still magically pull off acting as the ageless ringleader for their one-of-a-kind show. The free-spirited and crazy-haired frontman was filled with energy to lead the band through songs from their deep and wild catalog. They opened things up with 1999’s “Race For The Prize” as huge multi-colored bouncy balls and loads of confetti filled their air like something out of Willy Wonka’s imagination. The momentum of their playful intro was carried over as the familiar acoustic intro to “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” kept the light-hearted energy flowing through the sold out venue.
In a recent interview with AXS, Coyne had mentioned that they “have this ridiculous plastic unicorn which has this battery operated/wifi operated light show.” At the time he was unsure of which venues would be able to support their mythological prop, but on this night that unicorn of theirs sparkled as brightly as some of the outfits seen out in the audience. Coyne courageously rode on the back of the fake horse during their performance of “There Should Be Unicorns.”
After a very dreamy performance of one of their new songs in “How??” and 1999’s “What is the Light?,” Coyne re-appeared inside an inflated clear ball. Once inside, he rolled his way over the audience to the back of the venue, where a pair of large blown-up mushrooms were there to welcome him as the band covered David Bowie’s famous “Space Oddity.”
The group continued pulling older tracks out of their mystical bag of tricks with the trippy “Are You a Hypnotist??,” before turning up the heavy distortion on “The W.A.N.D.” They returned to the stage for a one-song encore performance of the loving “Do You Realize??,” and just like that, the magical ride was over. If there’s one thing the audience took away from the incredible experience the concert provided on Thursday night, is that the Flaming Lips are still one of the most entertaining and joyously liberating acts to see in music.
Race for the Prize
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
There Should Be Unicorns
Pompeii am Götterdämmerung
What is the Light?
Space Oddity (David Bowie cover)
Feeling Yourself Disintegrate
Are You a Hypnotist??
A Spoonful Weighs a Ton
Do You Realize??