I posed the question yesterday about the Built to Spill show at The Social vs. The Flaming Lips at House of Blues. I’ve seen both before. The Lips are an amazing live show while BTS in a tiny place like the Soash is almost too cool to miss. Well, a photo pass for The Flaming Lips materialized thus making my decision for me. Once at the Lips show, I thought, “How could I have missed this?” Their concerts are explosive and powerful … moving even. The House of Blues was filled to capacity and the crowd was electric all the way through. The encores were deafening, killing my ears more than the music.
This is mostly due to Wayne Coyne’s charisma and ability to engage the audience. Dancing characters, 4 billion tons of confetti, lasers, overwhelming strobes, and a vast catalog of crowd pleasing songs don’t hurt either, but Wayne is able to captivate the audience on a very personal level. Despite the grandiose nature of the performance, it is very down to earth, almost lackadaisical. Yes, the band emerged from a giant pulsing, psychedelic vagina projected on a 2-story screen, and yes Wayne did re-enact the Embryonic motif of coming alive in a space bubble and walking on the crowd on the floor of the HOB, but the band milled about, tuning their own instruments for a good 45 minutes before the show. You would expect a grand unveiling, but Wayne is walking around checking equipment, talking to the crowd, and shaking hands while the band tunes and monkeys with everything from guitars and keyboards to confetti cannons. Then, the lights dim and the show starts. It is such a spectacle that you forget they were hanging out earlier.
They rolled through classics like “She Don’t Use Jelly,” “Yoshimi” and a handful of others. I wished they worked in “Waiting on Superman” or “Race for the Prize” or even “Fight Test,” but it was a great set nonetheless – even if someone in my direct vicinity hadn’t used deodorant … in 2 weeks … then shit themselves. I hope it doesn’t become an association or “smell aversion” I develop that ties to the band.
I’m sure Built to Spill was epic and I wish I could have seen them, but the Flaming Lips are just too big of a show to miss, especially in a small venue.
Awesome crowd response …
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