Just when I thought I had seen it all, The Flaming Lips come to town, playing a show at Chicago’s Saltshed concert hall on May 5, 2023. If you are already a fan then you already know!
The dimly lit stage filled with thick fog well before set time. As the band begins to play, Lead singer and frontman Wayne Coyne appears center stage encapsulated in clear ball, seemingly in isolation yet connection with the fans. His voice perfectly compliments what is unfolding on stage. With the first few lines of “Flight Test”, the already have the connection with the three thousand plus fans that have packed the venue.
As “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1” begins, four pink robots each perhaps twenty feet tall inflate flanking Coyne’s bubble. The fans cheer! They return throughout the set. The music is only part of the performance, as there is a heavy emphasis on visuals. The huge video screen backdrop flashes ever changing words and images in bright psychedelic colors, as a blizzard of robot shaped confetti envelopes the crowd and streamers float down from the ceiling. Then there are the lasers, and balloons and soap bubbles! Sensory overload – in good way!
There was no opener. The flaming Lips rolled through their 19 song set with a short intermission and gave a four song encore filling the entire slot.
This tour began in late April and will take trough August to complete so odds are you will have an opportunity to catch them near you. I definitely recommend making the effort and see a truly memorable performance!
Concert Review & Photos by Roman Sobus.