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The Flaming Lips Dazzled at Saint Louis Music Park

The Flaming Lips performing at Saint Louis Music Park. Photo by Sean Derrick/ Thyrd Eye Photography.

–by Randy Thompson

–photos by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography

 

Going to a Flaming Lips concert is like entering a psychedelic dimension all it’s own. The energy is palpable, and the atmosphere vibrates with the color of sound.

Vocalist Wayne Koyne and the band exude an energy and power on the stage unlike almost anyone else that I have seen.

The Flaming Lips performing at Saint Louis Music Park. Photo by Sean Derrick/ Thyrd Eye Photography.

They blend electronic studio mix music with rock and roll guitars, two intensely focused drummers in Matt Duckworth Kirksey and Nicholas Ley, extraordinary keyboards, Koyne’s strong and steady voice, riveting melodies, and excellent vocal harmonies.

The Flaming Lips performing at Saint Louis Music Park. Photo by Sean Derrick/ Thyrd Eye Photography.

On top of it all, The Flaming Lips played their most beloved and acclaimed album, Yoshimi  Battles the Pink Robots, (some may argue for The Soft Bulletin) in full.

The Flaming Lips performing at Saint Louis Music Park. Photo by Sean Derrick/ Thyrd Eye Photography.

It is the thematic concept album that launched the Lips into the upper echelon of bands in 2002. We were treated to the entire album in the first set. There was a sense of what was coming when four giant inflatable pink robots appeared on the stage towering over the band members and literally danced to the music The songs were played in the same order as they appear on the album, and included the epic hits, “Fight Test”, “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots” (Parts 1 and 2), “Do You Realize”, and the hypnotic “Approaching Pavonis Mons By Balloon”. The audience was completely drawn in and demonstrated their appreciation profusely.

The Flaming Lips performing at Saint Louis Music Park. Photo by Sean Derrick/ Thyrd Eye Photography.

And then came set 2. The band has hit songs and beloved fan favorites spread throughout their forty years’ worth of catalog. The second set included songs such as “She Don’t Use Jelly”, “How??”, and an amazing cover of the Madonna song, “Borderline”.

The Flaming Lips performing at Saint Louis Music Park. Photo by Sean Derrick/ Thyrd Eye Photography.

Koyne took center stage throughout the show as the band remained in the background, playing steadily, enthusiastically, and with great talent. He frequently implored the audience to scream, shout, sing along, and dance to the music as he pushed us towards another dimension of sight and sound.

The Flaming Lips performing at Saint Louis Music Park. Photo by Sean Derrick/ Thyrd Eye Photography.

It is important to note that the band was focused on entertaining and engaging the audience through the entirety of the show.

The Flaming Lips performing at Saint Louis Music Park. Photo by Sean Derrick/ Thyrd Eye Photography.

We both felt that other significant members of the band that night were the sound and lighting engineers who helped take this production to the next level with confetti cannons, giant bouncing balls, great screen visuals, and many other effects including a mechanized flying bird.

The Flaming Lips performing at Saint Louis Music Park. Photo by Sean Derrick/ Thyrd Eye Photography.

The songs speak of deep sadness, loss and the battles we face in life. But the bands ultimate message is to keep pushing through and support each other, while battling on, as Yoshimi does.

At the end of the show, giant silver balloons formed a sentence that summed up the bands feelings clearly. Those balloons spelled out, “Fuck Yeah, St. Louis”. Band members:

The Flaming Lips performing at Saint Louis Music Park. Photo by Randy Thompson.
The Flaming Lips Setlist:
Set One:
1. Fight Test
2. One More Robot/ Sympathy 3000-21
3. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1
4. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots  Part 2.
5. The Morning of the Magicians
6. Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell
7. Are You a Hypnotist??
8. It’s Summertime
9. Do You Realize??
10. All We Have Is Now
11. Approaching Pavonis Mons By Balloon
Set Two:
12. Sagittarius Silver Announcement
13. She Don’t Use Jelly
14. Mother, I’ve Taken LSD
15. How??
16. Always Ther, In Our Hearts
17. Feeling Yourself Disintegrate
18. Borderline (Madonna cover)
19. Pompeii AM Gotterdammerung
Encore:
20. My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion
21. A Spoonful Weighs a Ton
22. Race for the Prize

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